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Full text of "The ancient language and the dialect of Cornwall : with an enlarged glossary of Cornish provincial words : also an appendix, containing a list of writers on Cornish dialect, and additional information about Dolly Pentreath, the last known person who spoke the ancient Cornish as her mother tongue"

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FRED. W. P. JAGO, M.B. Lond. 



Loving his native County, 

its words, and its ways, 

the writer, 

with great respect, 

dedicates this little book to 


1. Frontispiece — Portrait of Dolly Pentreatli, and sketch of 

her Cottage at Mousehole. 

2. The Decline of the Ancient Cornish Language - - 1 

3. The Eemains of the Ancient Cornish Language • 17 

4. The Preface to WiUiams's Cornish Dictionary - - 29 

5. Specimens of the Ancient Cornish Language - - 34 

6. The Provincial Dialect of Cornwall .... 45 

7. Specimens of the Cornish Provincial Dialect - - 65 

8. Words in the Cornish Dialect compared with those found 

in the writings of Chaucer 73 

9. Common English words in the Cornish Dialect, with 

Tables of them 94 

10. On the Glossary of Cornish Provincial "W ords - - 101 

11. The Glossary of Cornish Provincial Words - - 102 

12. Addenda to Glossary 317 

13. Curious Spelling of the Names of Drugs, li'c. - - 325 

14. Explanation of the Eeferences in the Glossary - - 827 

15. Appendix— DoWy Pentreath . - - - 330 

16. Names of Writers on Cornish Dialect, &c. - - 842 


Long-descended from Cornishmen, the writer, like 
others of his countrymen, has a clannish fondness for 
Cornish words and phrases. 

From May 1879 to October 1880, the compiler of 
this book wrote lists of Cornish Provincial Words, which, 
through the courtesy of the Editor of the " Cornishman," 
(published at Penzance), were then allowed to appear in 
that paper. 

These letters appeared to interest a good many per- 
sons, and lists of provincial words were often asked for, 
but compliance was impossible without printing, and so, a 
glossary in the form here given was then decided on. 

But there were questions which required to be an- 

How should a glossary of Cornish provincial words 
be arranged 1 Since there is so much difference between 
the eastern and the western dialect, should there be a 
glossary for East, and another for West Cornwall 1 

This seemed a plausible method, but another difficulty 
arose. What was to be done with that very large class of 
words common to the whole of Cornwall] Such words 
could not be included in an eastern and a western glossary 
without a very useless repetition. To do this would be 
calling the same words, eastern dialect in one glossary, and 
western dialect in the other. 

Then again, words, if one may use the expression, are 
constantly travelling about, and dropping here and there 
as the people move, and so, to keep an eastern and a 
western glossary correct according to their titles, would be an 
impossible, or endless task. 

Again, it may be asked, where is the boundary be- 
tween the east and the west dialect 1 In reality there is 
no actual limit, although, as stated in the following pages, 
there is a shadowy boundary, a sort of neutral ground. 

In fact, the Cornish dialect changes by interrupted, or 
irregular degrees, all the way from one end of the county 
to the other. 

Eeflecting on these difficulties, the writer concluded 
that one glossary for the whole county would be simpler, 
and practically the better. 

The other plan to be correct would require, 1st — A 
glossary for West Cornwall, 2nd — A glossary for East 
Cornwall, and 3rd — A separate glossary of words common 
to all Cornwall. In reality three glossaries for one county ! 

Nevertheless, the English Dialect Society, in 1880, 
issued a glossary for East, and another for West Cornwall, 
but none for those words common to the whole county. 

That for West Cornwall is by Miss M. A. Courtney, 
who has evidently worked hard in compiling a valuable 
glossary to which the present writer is much indebted. 

The glossary for East Cornwall is not so extensive as 
the former, but very good. It was compiled by Mr. Thos. 
Q. Couch, to whom the writer owes many thanks. 

Good as these glossaries are, their division into Eastern 
and Western, is, the writer thinks, confusing, and the 

cause of a needless, but under such a plan, an unavoidable 
repetition of words in each division. 

In writing on the provincial words, so many of 
which are ancient Cornish, a notice of the decline, and of 
the remains of that language is required, and as standard 
Cornish Histories are rather scarce and expensive, a 
sketch, as nearly as possible in the authentic words of 
Cornish historians, is given. 

The writer has collected a number of words as spoken 
in Cornwall at this very time, and he has compared them 
Avith similar ones used by Chaucer 500 years ago. The 
resemblance is an interesting peculiarity of the Cornish 
dialect ; and for illustration, quotations from Chaucer are 
given for each word used provincially. 

A great many apparently barbarous, unmeaning, and 
uncouth words are evidently derived from the ancient 
Cornish language. By making compariso7is between such 
words, and those formerly used by the old Cornish people, 
the writer has tried to make such obscure terms more 
clearly understood. 

No doubt there are many faults in spite of every care 
in compiling this glossary of about 3700 words. 

Many words have been purposely omitted because 
they seemed too common in other districts outside Corn- 
wall, and probably, many which should have been excluded, 
are left in the glossary. 

However this may be, and to whatever extent this 
book may be considered by the critic as meagre, and im- 
perfect ; yet it is hoped that such a volume as this may be 
of some use, or interest to those who desire to possess a 

memento of the Cornish dialect as spoken about, or a little 
before the beginning of this century, and still in use to a 
very great extent, but becoming more and more disused as 
time goes on. 

Some words quoted from Carevv, &c., are of course 
of an older date, but the writer could not very well omit 
them, as many are still in use. 

In conclusion it may by said, that even now the 
Cornish people are speaking a large number of Celtic, or 
Ancient Cornish words, without being very much aware 
of it. 

The Cornish dialect may be called the shadow, or 
penumbra of the ancient language ; the link between the 
old and the new tongue ; between Celtic and English. 


21, Lockyer Street, 

A.D. 1882. 

%\\t Mckni ICitnguitge mxb the Jprcbindal 
dialect of Cornwall. 


"OEFORE saying anything about the provincial dialect 

of the Cornish people, it may be of use to give a 
sketch of the decline of the old Cornish language, and 
also notice M'hat has been attempted in the preservation 
of its remains. 

It appears necessary to do this, because, as the old 
language decayed the English took its place, and a long 
time was occupied in the process. Indeed, this transitional 
period may be called an interregnum, during which the 
provincial dialect of Cornwall became gradually formed. 

In thus reviewing the decline of the old Cornish 
language, we are passing on to the dialect which took its 
place. Like its predecessor the Ancient Cornish, it is in 
its turn doomed, and rapidly changing into ordinary 

Many reliable authorities have given a great deal of 
information about the old Celtic language of Cornwall, 

among whom are such writers as Carew, Lhuj^d, Prvce, 
Borlase, Polwhele, Hals, Tonkin, Sec, and scattered ac- 
counts may be found in various publications. 

The particulars, as given in the History of Cornwall 
compiled by Hitchins, and edited by Samuel Drew, in 
1824, are very simple and clear, and Drew's account may 
be quoted with advantage. He says : — 

" The language which was once spoken in this county 
by our British ancestors, awakens our solicitude from 
motives of local attachment, and becomes particularly in- 
teresting from the singular circumstance of its being now 
no more. At present we behold its mighty shadow in the 
pages of our history, and even this is gradually disap- 
pearing. The only scattered remnants which have survived 
its oral existence, may be found in those pi'ovincial phrases, 
and local names, for which Cornwall is so peculiarly re- 

"Tlie Cornish tongue is generally admitted to be a 
dialect of that language, which, till the Saxons came in, 
was common to all the Avestern parts of Britain, and more 
anciently to Ireland and Gaul. 

" When the Komans came and subdued this country, 
the changes which they introduced, affected the language 
as well as the manners of the inhabitants. It does not 
however appear, that the Romans had any fixed design to 
extirpate the British language ; yet its gradual decline 
followed as a necessary consequence of their solicitude to 
diffuse and establish their own. Hence in those parts 
where they had more fully established their power, the 
language of the people suffered )nost from the general 

innovation ; so that its purity seemed to retire from the 
Eoman presence, and to seek an asylum in those moun- 
tainous or retired regions to which the invaders could not 
without much difficulty have access. 

"In these western territories, the original language of 
the natives had less to fear than that of most others, if we 
make an exception in favour of Wales; and perhaps from 
this Roman invasion it suffered least. 

" Hence, throughout the Cornii-British language we 
have, comparatively speaking, very few Latin idioms, and 
very few Latin words. 

" But it was not from the influence of the Roman 
language, that the Cornish tongue was doomed to perish. 
It survived the shock which it had sustained, and secured 
its independence by retiring to the Cambrian mountains ; 
to the retreats which Danmonium afforded it; and by 
emigrating to the continent, and there starting up as a 
new dialect on the shores of Armorica. (Brittany). 

" When the Romans abandoned their conquests in 
this island, and the Saxons succeeded them, the inhabitants 
of Britain retiring before their victorious arms, sought a 
refuge in Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany, carrying with 
them once more that language which was originally com- 
mon to them all. This language, in process of time for 
want of a more frequent intercourse between the inhabi- 
tants, became differently pronounced and written, and in 
various degrees mixed with different languages. 

"It does not appear that anything was ever printed in 
the Cornish language till the year 1707, when the learned 
Mr. Lhuyd published his Cornish grammar. 

"A few years before this, Mr. Lhuyd visited this 
County, in order to make himself acquainted with its 
natural history and monuments, but more particularly so 
with the language of Cornwall which was rapidly on the 

" But although nothing in the Cornish language was 
ever printed till the days of Mr. Lhuyd, several Cornish 
manuscripts have been preserved; but excepting one, none 
of any considerable age. This one according to Bishop 
Gibson, was written in 1036 in an old court hand on 
vellum. (This was ' The History of the Passion of our 

" The Cornish language, it appears, was current in a 
part of the South Hams in the time of Edward 1st (1272 
to 1307). Long after this it was common on the banks of 
the Tamar, and in Cornwall it was universally spoken. 

"But it was not till towards the conclusion of the 
reign of Henry 8th (1509 to 1547) that the English 
language had found its way into any of the Cornish 
churches. Before this time the Cornish language was the 
established vehicle of communication. 

"Dr. Moreman, a native of Southill, but vicar of 
Menheniot, was the first who taught the inhabitants of 
his parish the Lord's prayer, the Creed, and the Ten 
commandments in the English tongue; and this was not 
done till just about the time that Henry 8th closed his 
reign. From this fact one inference is obvious ; which is, 
that if the inhabitants of Menheniot knew nothing more 
of the English than what was thus learnt from the vicar 
of the parish, the Cornish must have prevailed among 

them at that time ' . . . . 'and as the English language in its 
progress travelled from East to West; we may reasonably 
conclude, that about this time it had not penetrated far 
into the County, as Menheniot lies towards its eastern 

" From the time the liturgy was established in the 
Cornish churches in the English language, the Cornish 
tongue rapidly declined. 

" Hence Mr. Carew, who published his ' Survey of 
Cornwall' in 1602, notices the almost total extirpation of 
the language in his days. He says, 'the principal love 
and knowledge of this language, liveth in Dr. Kennall the 
civilian, and with him lyeth buried; for the English speech 
doth still encroach upon it and hath driven the same into 
the uttermost skirts of the shire. Most of the inhabitants 
can speak no word of Cornish ; but few are ignorant of 
the English; and yet some so affect their own, as to a 
stranger they will not speak it ; for if meeting them by 
chance, you inquire the way, or any such matter, your 
answer shall be, ' Meea nauidua cowzasawzneck;' I can 
speak no Saxonage.' 

"Carew's 'Survey' was soon followed by that of 
Norden, by whom we are informed that the Cornish 
language was chiefly confined to the western hundreds of 
the county, particularly to Penwith, and Kirrier, and yet; 
"(which is to be marveyled) though the husband and 
wife, parents and children, master and servants, do natur- 
ally communicate in their native language; yet there is 
none of them in a manner, but is able to converse with a 
stranger in the English tongue, unless it be some obscure 

people who seldom confer with the better sort. But it 
seemeth however, that in a few years the Cornish will be 
by little and little abandoned." 

Such was the state of the Cornish language, according 
to Norden, about 1610, the year in which it is probable 
his history was written. 

The parish of Menheniot was the first in which the 
inhabitants were taught the Creed, the Lord's prayer, and 
the Ten Commandments, in English; (about A.D. 1540), 
The parish of Feock was nearly the last in which Ancient 
Cornish was used in the church service. 

The Cornish was so well spoken in the parish of 
Feock by the old inhabitants till about the year 1640, 
"that Mr. AVilliam Jackman, the then vicar, and chaplain 
also of Pendennis Castle at the siege thereof by the 
parliament army, was forced for divers years to administer 
the sacrament to the Communicants in the Cornish tongue, 
because the aged people did not well understand the 
English, as he himself often told me." (Hals). 

"Although, says Drew, the Cornish language appears 
to have been excluded from all our Cornish churches 
except those of Feock, and Landewednack, as early as the 
year 1640, yet it was not driven from common conver- 
sation until a much later period. 

"So late as 1650, the Cornish language was currently 
spoken in the parishes of Paul, and St. Just; the fish- 
women, and market-women in the former, and the tinners 
in the latter, for the most part conversing in their old 
vernacular tongue." 

'Mv. Scawen. in hi=: maTm=cript. say?, that in 1678, the 
Eev. F. Robinson, rector of Landewednack, " preached a 
sermon to his parishioners, in the Cornish language only." 

" From this period, continues Drew, the Cornish 
language appears to have been driven from the Cornish 
churches entirely ; or if not wholly banished, we have no 
further record of its being retained or used on any occasion 
in the service of public worship. 

"And so rapid was its declension tliroughout the 
County from this period (1678) in all the ordinary con- 
cerns of life, that Mr. Lhuyd, in a letter to Mr. Rowland, 
dated March 10, 1701, observes, that the Cornish language 
was then only retained in five or six villages towards the 
Land's End. 

"In every stage through which we pursue the Cornish 
language, we thus perceive that its limits become more and 
more circumscribed. From five or six villages towards 
the Land's End, in which the Cornish tongue was spoken 
in 1701, we must now descend to individuals, and from 
them trace it to its grave." 

Drew relates how that in 17-16, Captain Barrington 
took a seaman from Mount's Bay who understood Cornish 
so well as to be able to converse with some sailors of 
Brittany, and it is very natural to suppose that many others 
knew the Cornish language at the above date, but Dr. 
Borlase thought, in 1758, that it had "altogether ceased so 
as not to be spoken anywhere in conversation." But, says 
Drew, " this opinion appears to be rather premature. It 
might be true, that the language was no longer spoken in 
common conversation from choice, but that several persons 


were then alive who couhl hold a conversation in Cornish 
on common topics, is plain from accounts of a subsequent 
date, to which we shall refer." 

In the year 1768, the Hon. Daines Barrington, brother 
of Captain, afterwards Admiral Barrington, went into 
Cornwall to ascertain whether the Cornish language had 
entirely ceased or not, and in a letter written to John 
Lloyd, Esq., F.S.A., a few years after, viz. on March 31, 
1773, he gives the following as the result of his journey, 
and as it refers to old Dolly Pentreath, a name so well 
known not only in, but out of Cornwall, it is well worth 

Says Mr. Barrington, " I set out from Penzance how- 
ever with the landlord of the principal inn for my guide, 
towards Sennen, or the most western point; and when I 
api)roached the village, I said that there must probably be 
some remains of the language in those parts, if anywhere, 
as the village was in the road to no place whatever ; and 
the only alehouse announced itself to be the last in 

My guide however told me that I should be disap- 
pointed ; but that if I would ride about ten miles about in 
my return to Penzance he would conduct me to a village 
called Mousehole, on the western side of Mount's Bay, 
where there was an old woman called Dolly Pentreath, 
who could speak Cornish fluently. While we were trav- 
elling together tow^ards Mousehole, I enquired how he 
knew that this woman spoke Cornish ; when he informed 
me, that he frequently went from Penzance to Mousehole 
to buy fish, which were sold by her; and that when he did 


not offer her a price that was satisfactory, she gnimhled 
to some other old women in an unknown tongue, which 
he conchided therefore to be Cornish. 

When we reached Mousehole, I desired to be intro- 
duced as a person who had laid a wager that there was not 
one who could converse in Cornish ; upon which Dolly 
Pentreath spoke in an angry tone for two or three minutes, 
and in a language which sounded very like Welsh. The 
hut in which she lived was in a very narrow lane, opposite 
to two rather better houses, at the doors of which two 
other women stood, who were advanced in years, and who 
I observed were laughing at what Dolly said to me. 

Upon this I asked them whether she had not been 
abusing me ; to which they answered, ' Very heartily ' 
and because [ had supposed she could not speak Cornish. 

I then said, that they must be able to talk the 
language ; to which they answered that they could not 
speak it readily, but that they understood it, being only 
ten or twelve years younger than Dolly Pentreath. 

I continued nine or ten days in Cornwall after this, 
but found that my friends whom I had left to the eastward 
continued as incredulous almost as they were before, about 
these last remains of the Cornish language ; because, 
among other reasons, Dr. Borlase had supposed in his 
Natural History of the County, that it had entirely ceased 
to be spoken. It was also urged, that as he lived within 
four or five miles of the old woman at Mousehole, he 
consequently must have heard of so singular a thing as 
her continuing to use the vernacular tongue. 


T linfl soarrelv said or tlionirlit nnything more ahont 
this matter, till last summer, (1772) having mentioned it 
to some Cornish people, J found that they could not credit 
that any person had existed within these few years, who 
could speak their native language ; and therefore, though 
I imagined there was but a small chance of Dolly 
Pentreath continuing to live, yet I wrote to the president 
then in Devonshire, to desire that he Avould make some 
inquiry with regard to her ; and he was so obliging as to 
procure me information from a gentleman whose house 
was within three miles of Mousehole, a considerable part 
of whose letter I shall subjoin. 

' Dolly Pentreath is short of stature, and bends very 
much with old age, being in her eighty-seventh year; so 
lusty however as to walk hither, to Castle Horneck, 
about three miles, in bad weather, in the morning and 
back again. She is somewhat deaf, but her intellects 
seemingly not impaired ; has a memory so good, that she 
remembers perfectly well, that about four or five years ago, 
at Mousehole, where she lives, she was sent for by a 
gentleman, who being a stranger, had a curiosity to hear 
the Cornish language, which she was famed for retaining 
and speaking fluently ; and that the inkeeper where the 
gentleman came from, attended him. 

(This gentleman, says Daines Bariington, "was my- 
self; however I did not presume to send for her, but 
waited upon her.") 

She does indeed talk Cornish as readily as others 
do English, being bred up from a child to know no other 
language ; nor could she (if we may believe her) talk a 


Avord of English before she was pnst twenty j^ears of age; 
as, her father being a fisherman, she was sent with fish to 
Penzance at twelve years old, and sold them in the Cornish 
language, which the inhabitants in general, even the gentry, 
did then Avell understand. She is positive however, that 
there is neither in Mousehole, nor in any other part of 
the county, any other person who knows anything of it, or 
at least can converse in it. She is poor, and maintained 
partly by the parish, and partly by fortune-telling and 
gabbling Cornish.' 

I have thus, continued Mr. Barrington, " thought 
it right to lay before the Society (the Society of Anti- 
Cjuaries) this account of the last sparks of the Cornish 
tongue ; and cannot but think that a linguist who under- 
stands Welsh, might still pick up a more complete 
vocabulary of the Cornish than we are yet possessed of; 
especially as the two neighbours of this old woman (Dolly 
Pentreath) whom I have had occasion to mention, are not 
now above seventy-seven or seventy-eight years of age, 
and were healthy when I saw them ; so that the whole 
does not depend on the life of this Cornish sybil, as she is 
willing to insinuate." iJaines Barrington. 

It appears, says Drew, from this letter of Daines 
Barrington "that in the year 1773, Dolly Pentreath was in 
her eighty-seventh year; and it appears from an epitaph 
on her grave, that she died at the advanced age of 102; 
so that she must have lived fifteen years after Mr. 
Barrington's letter was dated and consequently must have 
died in 1788. 

" She was buried in the churchyard of the parish of 


Paul, in which parish, Monsehole, the place of her residence 
is situated. Her epitaph is both in Cornish and English, 
in both of which languages as it is a literary curiosity, it 
is here inserted." 

* Coth Doll Pentreath cans ha Deaii ; 
Marow ha kledyz ed Paul plea : — 
Na ed an Egloz, gan pobel bras, 
Bes ed Egloz-hay coth Dolly as, 


* Old Doll Pentrealh, one hundred ag'd and two ; 
Deceas'd, and bnried in Paul parish too : — 
Not in the church, with people great and high, 
But in the chuich-yard doth old Dolly lie ! 

It is evident from there being an epitaph on Dolly 
Pentreath, that the Cornish language in A.D, 1788 was 
known, and could still be written. 

Polwhele says, " the author of these verses, of which 
I have given a literal translation, is a Mr. Tomson a native 
of Truro, and by profession an engineer." The epitaph 
was translated by a Mr. Collins, who gave it to Mr. 

In July, 1776, "Mr. Barrington upon more minute 
enquiry," presented a letter to the Society of Antiquaries 
written both in Cornish, and English, by William Bodener, 
a fisherman of Mousehole. This fisherman asserted that 
there were still four or five persons in Mousehole who 
could talk Cornish. 

* Although this epitaph was written as described there is no 
present proof that any inscribed stone was ever placed on Dolly's 
grave. The present monument is modern. For Jeffery, Dorothy, 
.^fc Appendix, 


In 1777 Mr. Barrington found another Cornishman 
called Jolin Nancarrow, of Marazion, aged 45 years, and 
able to speak Cornisli. John Nancarrow said, that "in 
his youth he had learnt the language from the country 
people, and could then hold a conversation in it ; and that 
another, a native of Truro, was at that time also acquainted 
with the Cornish language, and like himself was able to 
converse in it." 

This last, is supposed to be the Mr. Tomson to whom, 
says Drew, " the world is indebted for Dolly Pentreath's 

It appears from additional testimony, that even up to 
the preceding dates the Cornish language had not entirely 
died out, and Dr. Pryce intimated that the language was 
known in Mousehole "so late as 1790." 

From the foregoing narrative it is clear that the 
Cornish language did not die with Dolly Pentreath, but 
lingered on, gradually becoming more and more forgotten. 

A language dies hard, and the gradual decay of the 
venerable language of the old people of Cornwall, resisted 
for centuries the ever advancing English tongue, the old 
Cornish receding from it towards the west, until, even in 
the extreme western end of Cornwall, it ceased to be a 
spoken language. 

It has been supposed that the bible was once written 
in Cornish, but this is very doubtfid, if we may form an 
opinion from the following remarks by the learned author 
of the " Ancient Cathedral of Cornwall." In this work 
]\Ir. Whitaker, -with his usual and emphatic manner, says 
(Vol. 2. p. 37. in a note) "the English too was not desirea 


by the Cornish, as vulgar history says, and as Dr. Borlase 
avers ; but, as the case shows itself plainly to be, fwced 
upon the Cornish by the tyranny of England, at a time 
when the English language was yet unknown in Cornwall. 
This act of tyranny was at once gross barbarity to the 
Cornish people, and a death-blow to the Cornish language." 

]\Ir. Whitaker alludes to the first use of the English 
liturgy in Menheniot church, and says, " that had the 
liturgy been translated into Cornish as it was in Welsh, 
the Cornish language would have been preserved to the 
present moment." Had there ever been any translation of 
the scriptures into Cornish, it would surely have been 
noticed by so learned an antiquarian. 

If what Borlase asserts be true, then the Cornish 
people themselves are to be blamed for having used very 
potent means for the destruction of their own original 

Altliough Whitaker asserts that the English language 
was "forced" upon the Cornish by the tyranny of England, 
yet, Borlase is just as positive to the contrary. 

In Borlase's Natural History of Cornwall, at page 
315, it is said that "when the liturgy at the reformation 
was appointed by authority to take place of the mass, the 
Cornish desired (Seawen p. 49) that it should be in the 
English language, being apprehensive that it might be 
injoined them in their mother tongue, as it was with 
regard to the Welsh. By this means and the gentry 
mixing gradually with the English, the Cornish language 
lost ground in proportion as it lay nearer to Devon." 

When two such writers differ in this manner, it may 


be fairly presumed that the truth lies in the middle. The 
English language had become familiar to, and perhaps 
fashionable with the gentry, while the lower orders of the 
people pertinaciously clung to, and retained the use of 
their mother tongue. The latter appeared to view with 
suspicion, and dislike those who spoke to them in English, 
which to them, in those days, was a foreign language. 
When spoken to in English, although understanding it to 
a great extent, the reply was in Cornish — "Meea nauidua 
cawzas sawzneck," I can speak no Saxonage as has been 
already mentioned. 

But now, even a tradition of a Cornish instead of an 
English language having been formerly spoken seems to 
have died out, except among educated people, in the 
eastern part of Cornwall. 

In 1878, the writer being at Menheniot and con- 
versing with a native there, enquired whether the people 
in that district had any ti'adition of the use of a former 
and different language, and also of the first introduction 
of English in their church service. No, at least he had 
never heard of it. He thought they had always spoken 
English there ! 

In the " Cornishman " (a newspaper published at 
Penzance) there were in 1879, glossaries of old Cornish 
Avords, one by Mr. B. Victor, and another by Mr. Pen- 
treath. Each list contained about 140, or, 150 Avords. 
These last remains are very interesting as affording 
evidence that even now, there are many words of the old 
tongue still known by men now living, and wliich they 
have learnt apart from any books. 


Pryce, referring to Lhuycl's unfinished Archseologia 
Britannica, considered that Lhuyd's death rendered the 
recovery of the ancient Cornish tongue very hopeless, for 
had he lived to finish his work, " not only the recovery of 
the dialect would have been effected, but, it would have 
been adorned with every elegancy and improvement from 
the unceasing labours of such a consummate philologist." 

The ancient Cornish has for ever ceased to be spoken, 
yet that such an old language may be preserved and 
even understood, just like Latin and Greek, there seems 
good reason for believing. 

The materials have largely accumulated, and are 
becoming more available for students. 

The labours of many writers, viz., from Lhuyd to 
"Williams, and of others since, have been hastening on the 
time when the ancient Cornish tongue will be fixed and 
rendered permanent as a dead language. This would be 
attained by a perfected Cornish grammar, an English- 
Cornish in addition to the CorwM-English Dictionary of 
Williams, and the collecting together of all other remains, 
whether in the form of histories, phrases, or even single 


We are indeed much indebted to the eminent author 
of the Archseologia Britannica, Lhuyd, whose work printed 
in 1707, will always remain a memorial of learning and 
industry. Some idea may be formed of this author's 
labours, by reading the following list of the contents of 
his book. 

1. — A comparative etymology, or remarks on the alteration of 

2. — A Latin-Celtic dictionary, or, a vocabulary of the original 

languages of Britain and Ireland. 
3. — An Armoric grammar. 
4. — An Armoric-English vocabulary. 
5. — Some Welsh words omitted in Dr. Davies's dictionary. 
6. — A Cornish grammar. 
7. — A catalogue of British manuscripts. 
8. — An essay towards a British etymologicon. 
9.— A brief introduction to the Irish or ancient Scottish 

10. — An Irish-English dictionary. 

Borlase, also, in his "Antiquities," has given much 
labour to, and rendered good help for, the restoration of the 
old Cornish language, by collecting such remains as were 
existing in manuscript and in print. His Cornish-English 
vocabulary contains about four thousand words, perhaps 
more, and formed " chiefly " as he says, from the Archa^o- 
logia of Lhuyd. 

In 1790, Dr. William Pryce of Eedruth, Cornwall, 
published the "Archseologia Cornu-Britannica, or an Essay 
to preserve the ancient Cornish language — containing the 
rudiments of that dialect in a Cornish grammar and 
Cornish-English vocabulary compiled from a variety of 


materials which have been inaccessible to all other authors, 
wherein the British original of some thousand English 
words in common use is demonstrated, together with that 
of the proper names of most towns, parishes, villages, 
mines, and gentlemen's seats and families, in Wales, Corn- 
wall, Devonshire, and other parts of England." 

In his dedication of the above book, he says, that it 
is " a work intended to rescue from oblivion the original 
language of a County." 

It may be useful to give a brief account of what Pryce 
says respecting the ancient Cornish language. 

Speaking of the high antiquity of the British lan- 
guage, " of which the Cornish is most indisputably a very 
pure dialect " he remarks in the Preface, that " it must be 
acknowledged, that a local inquiry and disquisition into 
the antiquity of our Cornish-British language has not been 
so particularly attended to as it deserves." 

Polwhele, in his History of Cornwall, &c., has also 
helped the work of restoration, and his writings contain 
many of the old Cornish words with observations thereon. 

In Polwhele's " Historical Views of Devonshire " (p. 
187) are remarks on the language of the ancient Britons, 
and in comparing it with the Phenician the author says, 
"that its affinity with the Irish is proved beyond all 
controversy by Vallancey." 

It will be interesting to compare the Phenician with a 
language allied to old Cornish, viz : the Irish. 

In the Pnulus of Plautus, there are certain sentences 
known to be Punic, and on comparing them with Irish, 


there is found a remarkable likeness, as may be seen in 
the following extract. 

Punic— Chim. lach chunyth mum ys tyal myctbi barii im schi. 
Irish.— Chimi lach chuinigh muini is toil miocht beiridb iar mo scitb. 
English. — A support of weak captives; be tby will to instruct me to 
obtain my cbildren. 

Punic. — Lypbo can etbytb by mitbii ad cedan binuthii. 
Irish. — Liombtba can ati bi mitche ad eadan beannaithe, 
Euglish. — Let it come to pass that my earnest prayers be blessed 
before tbee. 

Punic. — Byr nar ob syllo bomal o nim ! ubymis isyrtbobo. 
Irish. — Bior nar ob siladb umbal ; o nimb! ibbim a frotba. 
English, — A fountain denied not to drop to the bumble ; Deity 
that I may drink of its streams." 

(From Pohvhele's Historical Views of Devonshire p. 187.) 

Pryce says, that "the dialect of Cornwall must cer- 
tainly have obtained that purity, for which it is celebrated, 
from its immediate introduction by the Phenician naviga- 
tors, especially as the character and orthography are so 
greatly softened, and the language is divested of that 
rough gutteral pronunciation, which is retained to this 
time by the Cambro-Britons. In fact, the Cornish, and 
the Armoric dialects are the most nearly allied in char- 
acter, orthography, and sound, of any two of the British 
dialects. The Welsh, Irish, and Erse differ from each 
other greatly ; and the two latter differ from the Cornish 
and Gaulish (Armoric) very much. Indeed the Welsh is 
closely related to us. 

" Hence we may easily account for the similarity 
existing between the Cornish and Armoric ; for the coasts 
of Bretagne (Brittany) are opposite to the shores of 


" This is evidenced by the colloquial resemblance to 
this day (1790) subsisting betwixt the Cornish on the 
south-western margin of the County, and their opposite 
neighbours at Morlaix, and other parts of Bas Bretagne, 
where the low French and the Cornish seem almost one 
and the same dialect." 

Pryce remarks, that if he had not been otherwise 
well apprised of this fact, his opinion would have been 
confirmed by what he had heard from a very old man now 
(1790) living at Mousehole near Penzance, who as Pryce 
believed, was at that time, the only person capable of 
holding half an hour's conversation on common subjects 
in the Cornish tongue. The old man told Pryce " that 
about three score years ago (in 1730) being at Morlaix on 
board a smuggling cutter, and the only time he was ever 
there, he was ordered on shore with another young man to 
buy some greens, and not knowing a word of French as he 
thought, he was much surprised to find that he understood 
a great part of the conversation of some boys at play in 
the street; and upon further inquiry, he found that he 
could make known all his wants in Cornish, and be better 
understood than he could be at home, when he used that 
dialect " 

Pryce, referring to a correspondence between Lhuyd 
and Tonkin, says that "Mr. Lhuyd had gone great lengths 
towards the formation of a Cornish-British vocabulary, and 
he stated at the end of his Cornish grammar (Archseologia 
p. 253) that looking over the sheets of his grammar he 
must recall the promise made in his preface (p. 222) of a 
Cornish-English vocabulary, there being no room for it in 

that volume of glossography, and therefore must defer it 
till the next." 

Lhuyd died about the year 1 709, two years after his 
great work was printed, which death, says Pryce, "must 
have been the greatest loss to this pursuit that it ever had, 
or ever will meet with, on account of his profound learning 
and singular attachment to the recovery of our primitive 

Hals, about 1715, took uncommon pains to heap to- 
gether a mass of words which he entitled "Lhadymer ay 
Kernow, or the Cornish Interpreter." Mr. Tremayne lent 
this manuscript of Hals to Dr. Pryce, who says of it that 
" it is a most strange hodge-podge of Hebrew, Greek, Latin, 
and British words," but as it contained some words worth 
notice he selected them for his vocabulary. 

About the year 1709, Messrs. Tonkin, Keigwin, and 
Gwavas, with other associates, kept up a correspondence in 
their native tongue, as well as they could, by collecting all 
the mottoes, proverbs and idioms, on which they could lay 
their hands, and Dr. Pryce availed himself of their manu- 

The grammar of the ancient Cornish by Pryce con- 
tains in the first part, " the marroAV of Mr. Lhuyd's gram- 
mar, with some additions." The second part contains a 
Cornish vocabulary of about four thousand words, collected 
and arranged from the materials already mentioned. The 
third and last part consists of many Cornish names of 
places, " with their distinctions of the old and the modern 

As ancient English diil'ers from muJern, so docs old 


Cornish differ from modern, and this may be illustrated by 
a very short example, thus : — the phrase " Many thanks 
to God" expressed in old Cornish was, "Maur gras tha 
Deu," in modern Cornish it was "Meor 'ras tha Dew," 
which is contracted into one word " Merastadu " and mean- 
ing the same. 

Although Dr. Pryce has been praised for the Cornish 
grammar and vocabulary bearing his name, yet it should be 
noticed that the greater credit is due to Tonkin and Gwavas. 

Besides the writers of Cornish History, &c. already 
named, Davies Gilbert, AVhitley Stokes, and Williams, 
have done a great deal in preserving the remains of the 
old Cornish language. 

To Whitley Stokes we are much indebted, as may be 
seen stated in the Preface to Williams's Cornish Dictionary, 
of which further notice will be taken. 

From what precedes, and follows, it will be seen that 
the remains of the ancient Cornish language are much 
more extensive than is generally supposed. 

In the " Western Morning News" of August 2, 1871, 
there was published a list of the Gwavas manuscripts, 
which is very suitable for insertion in this place, and so 
useful, that it cannot fail to be of interest to any one who 
feels any liking for the subject. 

At the end of the list are a few remarks about 
Gwavas, &c. 

The Gwavas manuscripts were formerly in the pos- 
session of the Rev. William Veale, of Trevaylor. After 
his decease they passed to the Rev. William Wriothesley 


"Wingfield, the vicar of Gulval, by whom they were pre- 
sented to the British Museum. They are in a bound 
volume, lettered Gwavas MSS. and are known as "British 
Museum Additional MSS., 28,554." 

Letter from Davies Gilbert, dated East Bourne, 22ud 
July, 1836, to Eev. W. Veale; p. 1. 

Three letters from John Boson, dated Newlyn, 1709, 
1711, 1720, to W. Gwavas, Brick Court, Middle Temple, 
London; pp. 2, 10, 12. 

Letter from W, Gwavas, dated 1711, to Oliver Pendar, 
merchant, Newlyn; p. 3. 

Letter from 0. Pendar, dated Newlyn, 1711, to W. 
Gwavas, London; p. 4. 

Letter from W. Gwavas, dated Middle Temple, 1711, 
to J. Boson, Newlyn; pp. 8-9. 

Letter from W Gwavas to , dated March, 1731, 

state 55; p. 11. 

Three letters from Thomas Tonkin, dated Polgorran, 
1735, to W. Gwavas, Penzance; pp. 14, 18, 22. 

Three letters from W. Gwavas, dated Penzance, 1735- 
36, to T. Tonkin; pp. 16, 20, 23. 

Copy of " The Creation, finished by J. Keygwin, gent., 
in y* year 1693,"; pp. 24-49. 

Copy of " Mount Calvary," amended and corrected by 
W. H., 1679-80; pp. 51-58. 

The Lord's Prayer in Cornish; p. 50. 
Cornish glossary — A to CI.; pp. 59-78. 
Cornish vocabulary — A to W; pp. 80-89. 
Cornish verses, &c.; pp. 91-97. 

The ten commandments in Cornish; pp. 97-99; By T. 
Boson, 1710; pp. 107-108; pp. 110 114. 


The third chapter of Genesis iu Cornish; pp. 100-101. 

The fourth and seventh chapters of St. Matthew in 
Cornish; pp. 102-106. 

The creed in Cornish, by T. Boson, 1710; p. 106; by 
W. Gwavas; p. 143. 

Sundry Cornish writings, pp. 115-25. 

Story of a Man and Woman in St. Levan, " in a place 
called the house of a Eamm" (unfinished); pp. 128-29. 

Letter from Jane Manly to W. Gwavas; pp. 130-32. 

The First Chapter of Genesis in Cornish; pp. 126-27. 

Cornish song to the tune of "The modest maid of 
Kent; p. 131. 

Copy of "Carmen Britannicum Dialecto Cornubiensi" 
(6th cent.), by Edwd. Lhuyd, from the original, with Mr. 
Jenkin, of Alverton; pp. 132, 34. 

Song, " Fair Maid," Cornish and English, for Edwd. 
Chirgwin; p. 135. 

Song by Mr. Jenkins, of Alverton; p. 136. 

Inscription in Cornish for "My Ball," by Thos. Boson; 
p. 137. 

On death of Mr. J. Keigwin, 20th April, 1716, by J. 
Boson; p. 142. 

Song; p. 138. 

Letter from J. Keigwin, dated 1693, to W. Gwavas; 
pp. 139-40. 

Cornish Derivations, by W. Gwavas, dated Penzance, 
1735; pp. 144-46. 

Tenants' names versified in Cornish, by Mr. Collins, 
parson of Breage, dated 1723; p. 147. 

Pilot's motto on a ring, dated 1734; p. 148. 

On fishing, &c.; pp. 154-55. 


Sundry Cornish writings, by W. Gwavas, dated 1731; 
pp. 156-65, 167-68. 

Monumental inscription to be put on my tomb, dated 
16th September, 1719; Wm. Gwavas, parish of Sithney, 
son and heir of Will Gwavas; p. 166. 

Mr. William Gwavas was the son of William Gwavas, 
and was born in 1676. He became a barrister of the 
Middle Temple, Avhere he for some time resided in Brick- 
court. He was impropriator or lay vicar of Paul, and in 
that capacity had various disputes with the fishermen of 
that parish respecting the tything of fish. A printed 
document referring to this matter, a copy of which is now 
in the possession of Mr. Henry Williams, of the ^Mount's 
Bay Bank, Penzance, bears the following title, "Private 
case between William Gwavas and William Kelynack, and 
116 parishioners and fishermen, relating to the right of 
tything fish. An appeal before the House of Lords, 1730, 
fol. Privately printed." Some time ago there was pub- 
lished " Some observations on the Rev. K. Williams's 
preface to his Lexicon, by Prince L. L. Bonaparte [London, 
May, 1865,], 4to." This work contains "A copy of 
a letter from the Rev. (sic) W, Gwavas to T. Tonkin," 
dated Penzance, 25th Jan., 1732, and is, as far as we know, 
the only other document referring to Mr. Gwavas besides 
those already mentioned. Some of Mr. Gwavas's Cornish 
writings have been printed by Borlase, Pryce, and Pol- 
whele. Mr, Gwavas died in 1741, and was buried at 
Paul, on the 9th Jan. in that year." 

In 1865, was published the Lexicon Cornu-Britannicum 
by the Rev. Robt. Williams, M.A. This dictionary of the 


Coniisli language is a work of great labour and learning, 
and has supplied to a very great extent the want so much 
lamented by Pryce; viz., in Lhuyd having died before a 
second volume of his great work the " Archaeologia Brit- 
annica was printed. 

"Whether any manuscript of Lhuyd's intended second 
volume still remain, it seems hopeless to inquire, perhaps 
a copy may be lying hid somewhere even now. However 
this may be, the Cornish Dictionaiy by Williams is indeed 
a great advance towards the preservation of the ancient 

So instructive is the preface to Williams's Lexicon 
Cornu-Britannicum that it seems very necessary to include 
it in this little book, for after the list of the Gwavas 
Manuscripts, just given, Williams's remarks appear to be all 
that are recjuired to complete this division of the subject. 

Tlie object of the Editor of the Lexicon Cornu- 
Britannicum " was to collect and explain all the remains 
of the ancient British language of Cornwall." The book 
contains about 9000 Cornish words, with an immense 
number of quotations to render the meanings clearer, also 
the first chapter of Genesis, the Ten Commandments, the 
Creed, the Lord's prayer, &c. in the orthography of the 
Cornish dramas. It is published in quarto, and contains 
400 pages. 

Perhaps an enthusiastic student by the help of 
Williams's Dictionary, a Cornish grammar, and the trans- 
lations of old Cornish into English now in print, might 
actually learn the language, and even get at the pronun- 
ciation, by observing how Cornish words are still spoken. 

,. ,^ 28 

Is not the ancient tongue worth preserving just as, 
but not perhaps to the same extent as Greek and Latin? 

We have only to consider the labours of those who 
have contributed to the accumulation of the remains, and 
we shall be led to answer this question in the affirmative. 
The language, as we have seen, was once spoken by a 
numerous people, over a large extent of land, and remained 
a vernacular speech for many centuries, indeed from a time 
lost in the obscurity of ancient history. 

The history of the Cornish branch of the Celtic 
tongue extends so far back into the dim past, that even on 
such grounds the Archaeologist and the Philologist may 
easily be induced to befriend its preservation. 

The language, which was spoken when the Phenicians 
voyaged to the coasts of Cornwall, must, from its anti- 
quity alone, demand affection and respect, especially from 


The following is the Preface already referred to as 
written for the Lexicon Cornu-Britanniciun, by the Revd. 
Robert Williams, M.A., and dated 1865. 

"The object of the Editor in the compilation of this 
work was to collect and explain all the remains of the 
ancient British language of Cornwall, and by comparing 
the words with the synonyms in the cognate dialects to 
supply an acknowledged want in Celtic literature. The 
sources for the supply of material are very few, and may 
be briefly enumerated. 

The learned philologist Edward Lhuyd, in his Arch- 
aeologia Britannica, (fol. Oxford, 1707;) first published 
a grammar of the Cornish language, as spoken in his time, 
being then in a state of corruption and decay. He also 
gave a promise of a Cornish vocabulary, which he did not 
live to accomplish. 

In 1769, (the present writer's copy is dated 1754, 
with a vocabulary) Dr. Borlase published a Cornish-English 
vocabulary, in his Antiquities of Cornwall, which is chiefly 
derived from Lhuyd. The next work published was the 
vocabulary of Dr. Pryce, in 1790, 4to. This is so full of 
errors that the Editor soon felt satisfied that Pryce was 


entirely ignorant of the Cornish language, and had no 
acquaintance whatever with the Welsh. The discovery of 
the original manuscript, now in the possession of Prince 
Louis Lucien Bonaparte, shews the work to have been 
compiled in 1730, by Tonkin or Gwavas, and disingenously 
published by Pryce as his own. These printed works 
relate to late Cornish, but more important documents 
existed, which would furnish examples of the language, 
when spoken in a state of purity, and which it was 
desirable should be properly elucidated. 

The earliest is a vocabulary of Latin words with 
Cornish explanations, preserved in the Cottonian Library, 
in the British Museum, and there entitled 'Vocabularium 
Wallicum,' (Bibl. Cot. Vespas. A. 14). This was first 
noticed by Lhuyd in the Cornish Preface to the Archte- 
ologia, (p. 222,) and proved by him to be not AVelsh but 

It has been printed in the same order as it is written, 
and elucidated by Zeuss, in his Grammatica Celtica (2 vols. 
8vo., Leipsic, 1853.) It has since been printed alphabeti- 
cally by Mr. Norris in his ' Cornish Drama,' with 
additional illustrations from the cognate dialects. This 
vocabulary is of great jihilological importance. The manu- 
script was written in the thirteenth century, and may have 
been a copy of an older original, even of the ninth 
century, as it closely agrees with the Welsh of that age, 
and it contains important proofs that the Welsh then more 
closely approximated to the Cornish than in later ages. 
The next important document is a poem, entitled Mount 
Calvary; a manuscript of the fifteenth century; it contains 


259 stanzas of 8 lines each in heptasyllabic metre with 
alternate rhymes. The subject of this Poem is the Trial 
and Crucifixion of Christ. There are four copies of this 
manuscript, the oldest being in the British Museum, and 
the other three appear to be copies taken from it. Two of 
them are in the Bodleian Library, and in these a translation 
by John Keigwin is written on the opposite page. This 
poem was pubhshed by Mr. Davies Gilbert, in 1826. The 
typographical errors are so numerous, that Zeuss observes 
that it does not seem to have been corrected after leaving 
the hands of the compositor, and eight errors in every 
stanza are below the average. The Editor had carefully 
collated the manuscript in the British jMuseum, with the 
intention of adding a corrected copy as an appendix to the 
Dictionary, but the necessity no longer remains, as an 
excellent edition has lately been printed for the Philological 
Society under the care of a most able Celtic scholar, Mr. 
AYhitley Stokes, of Lincoln's Inn, (8vo., 1862). 

The text now given is very accurate, and the numer- 
ous errors in the translation have been rectified. The only 
other work accessible was a Drama, called ' The Creation 
of the World with Noah's Flood,' which was written, as 
stated upon the manuscript containing it, on the 12th of 
August, 1611, by William Jordan. Of this Drama the 
oldest manuscript is in the Bodleian Library, and there 
is another in the British Museum, with a translation by 
John Keigwin, in 1693. This was also printed by Mr. 
Davies Gilbert, in 1827, and is equally remarkable for its 
typographical errors. A new and corrected edition, by Mr. 
Whitley Stokes, was printed for the Philological Society in 

This Drama, being of much later date, shews the 
Cornish language to have become greatly corrupted, and it 
is full of English words. The above mentioned works com- 
prised all the accessible material for the Dictionary when 
the Editor drew out the plan some thirty years ago. 

Lhuyd had mentioned that there were three Dramas 
preserved in the Bodleian Library, of which he gave the 
first lines, and the Editor, finding that his Dictionary 
would be a meagre performance without obtaining a copy 
of them, in vain endeavoured to meet with a transcriber 
to supply him. Several commenced, but after a short 
attempt they gave up the task in despair. This circum- 
stance has delayed the Dictionary for many years, and it 
would never have been completed but for the publication 
of these Dramas in 1859. They turn out to be of much 
greater importance than could have been supposed; they 
are of greater amount than all the other remains of 
the Cornish language taken together, and are most invalu- 
able specimens of it when spoken in great purity. 

The three are of the same antiquity as the Poem of 
Mount Calvary. The series represents scriptural subjects 
from the Creation to the Death of Pilate, the first being 
entitled Ordinale de Origine Mundi. 2, Passio Domini 
Nostri Ihesu Christi. 3, Ordinale de Eesurrectione Domini; 
and they are of the same kind as the old Mysteries, or 
Miracle-plays, so common in the middle ages. 

They were published by the University of Oxford, 
in 2 vols. 8vo,, being most ably edited by Mr. Edwin 
Norris, who has added a literal translation on the opposite 


He has also added a Sketch of Cornish Grammar, and 
the early Cornish Vocabulary, with a valuable appendix. 

By the appearance of these volumes the editor's 
difficulties were overcome, and he hastened to complete 
his cherished work. The whole of the Dramas, and other 
documents are now incorporated in the Dictionary, and 
copious examples are given for the illustration of the 

To complete the subject the editor intends publishing 
in due form a copious Grammar of the Cornish, compared 
with the cognate dialects, and an essay on the characteris- 
tics of the six Celtic languages, together with alphabetical 
tables of words, common to two or more of them. A list 
of words will also be given of words borrowed from Latin 
by the Welsh during the stay of the Eomans in Britain, 
Avhich will be found much more extensive than is generally 
imagined. The whole, it is presumed, will be found of 
service in arriving at the history of the population of the 
British Isles." 


Norden, writing of the Cornish people and language, 
about the year 1580, says : "The Cornislre people for the 
most part are descended of the Britishe stocke, though 
muche entermixed since with the Saxon and Norman 
bloude; but untill of late yeares retayned the Britishe 
speache corrupted as theirs is of Wales ; for the South 
Wales man understandeth not perfectlye the North Wales 
man, and the North Wales man little of the Cornishe, the 
South muche. 

" The pronunciation of the tounge differs in all, but 
the Cornish tounge is farr the easieste to be pronounced ; 
for they strayne not ther wordes so tediouslye throwgh 
the throate, and so harshlye throwgh and from the roofe 
of the mouth ; as in pronouncing Ehin, they fetch it with 
Eh. Rhin, and LL with a kinde of reflecting the tounge. 

" But of late the Cornishe men have muche conformed 
themselves to the use of the Englishe tounge, and ther 
Englishe is equall to the beste, espetially in the easterne 
partes; even from Truro eastwarde it is in a manner 
wholy Englishe. In the Weste parte of the Countrye, as 
in the hundreds of Penwith and Kerrier the Cornishe 
tounge is most in use amongste the inhabitants." 

Carew, Avriting about the same time, and whose 
"Survey of Cornwall" was published in 1602, gives us 
more information about the ancient Cornish language. 

Norden is said to have been a native of Wiltshire, 
and naturally would not take the same interest in the 
old language as Carew, a Cornishman, and a member of 
an ancient and honoured Cornish family. We shall not 
be disappointed on enquiring what Carew has told us. 

Of Cornish names he says, most of them begin with 
Tre, Pol, or Pen, which signify a town, a top, and a head. 

" By Tre, Pol, and Pen 
You shall know the Cornishmen." 

but Camden im his "Eemains" (p. 114) has a much more 
expressive rhyme, viz : 

" By Tre, Eos, Pol, Lan, Caer, and Pen 
You may know the most Cornishmen." 

Carew, like others, says the " Cornish is more easy to 
be pronounced " and softer in its sound than the AVelsh. 

To the Englishman, the following examples must 
appear very uncouth and uninviting, yet doubtless his 
opinion would be changed, could he hear the old Cornish 
spoken in its original purity, but this is now impossible of 

Carew names a friend of his, "one Master Thomas 
Wilhams," who judged that the Cornish was derived from, 
or resembled the Greek, and Polwhele, in his Cornish 
History, compared a number of Greek and Cornish words; 
but this is a question for the experienced philologist, and 


is only alluded to here to exi^lain the introduction of a 
list of words given by Carew. 


















To teach 
















Carew's Survey published by Lord de Dunstanville in 
1811, (at p. 150) contains a note respecting the above 
words, as follows : 

"Whoever will read Mr. Lhuyds' Archseol. Brit. p. 
267, will not wonder that several of the Cornish words 
should agree with the Greek, since he there says, that both 
the Greek and Latin are but of one common origin, viz., 
the old Gaulish or Celtic; and that several of the greatest 
philologists of England and France have maintained that 
the tongues spoken in Cornwall, Wales, and Bas-Bretagne, 
are the chief remains (if not the whole) of the Celtic Ian- 

Latham, in his " Elements of comparative philology," 
(and as other writers inform us,) says that the Celtic lan- 
guages are divided into two branches : 1st the British; as 
known by the Welsh, the Cornish, and the ancient language 


of Brittany : and " that it is almost certain that the old 
British, and the ancient language of Gaul, belonged to 
this branch." 

2nd; The Gaelic or Erse; as represented by the 
present Irish GaeHc, the Gaelic of the Highlands of Scot- 
land, and the Manks of the Isle of Man. 

The following table of numbers \vill give the reader 
some idea of the resemblances between English, Welsh, 
Cornish, and Breton, as given by Latham. 

English. Welsh. Cornish. Breton. 













































Hundred cant cant cant 

That quaint old writer Andrew Borde, who died in 
1539, gives the numerals in Cornish thus: — 1, Onyn; 2 
dow; 3, tray; 4, peswar; 5, pimp; 6, whe; 7, syth; 8, eth 
9, naw; 10, dec; 11, unec; 12, dower; 13, tredeec; 14, 
peswardeec; 15, pympdeec; 16, whedeec; 17, sythdeec; 18, 
ethdeec; 19, nawdeec; 20, igons; 21, onj-n war igons; 22, 
dow war igons; 23, tray war igons; 24, peswarygons; and 
so on up to thirty. 


Borde says " no Cornyshe man dothe number above 
XXX, and this is named, Deec warnegons. And whan 
they have told thyrty, they do begyn agayn," 

For a hundred they said " leans," and for a thousand 
" myle." 

Carew gives for 40, Deaw Eigganz; for 100, cant; 
1000, mille; 10,000, molla. 

He also quotes the following simple phrases, viz : — 
Durdatha why. — Good morrow to you. 
Ternestatha. — Good night. 
Fatlaghan a why ] — How do you do ? 
Da durdalatha why. — Well I thank you. 
Betha why lawanneck. — Be you merry. 
Benetugana. — Farewell. 

The following are examples of old Cornish from the 
Lexicon Cornu-Britannicum by Williams. 

1. — Ku'm fay, lemmyn a'n caffen, er an ascal y'n 
toulsen yn creys an tan. 

By my faith, now if I could catch him, I would cast 
him in the midst of the fire. 

2. — My ny won pyw e cammen. 

I know not who he is at all. 

3. — My a'd car mur. 

I love thee much. 

4. — Y welas ef ny gara na bos yn y gowethas. 

He loved not to see him, nor be in his company. 

5. — Cariah an stuft' stena an stumpes. 

Carry the tin stuff to the stamping mill. 


6. — Mi rig gwelas an carnow idzha an idhen mor kil y 
ge neitlio. 

I saw the rocks where the sea-birds make their nests, 

7. — Ni allaf cavos powes. 

I cannot find rest. 

8. — Mar menta gwelas an ost an chy ki da'n gegen, 
ha enna ti a'n cav. 

If thou wishest to see the host of the house, go into 
the kitchen, and there thou shalt find him. 

9. — Stean San Agnes an gwella stean en Kernow. 

The tin of St. Agnes (is) tlie hest tin in Cornwall. 

10.— Ysedheuch yn kesoleth, rak scon why a fydli 

Sit down in quietness, for you shall soon be served. 

11. — Sens dhe clap, na fydh bysy, rak ny fynnaf 
dhys crygy. 

Hold thy prating, be not busy, for I will not believe 

12. — Out warnas harlot, pen cok, scon yn mes a'm 

Out upon the rogue, blockhead, immediately out of 
my sight. 

13. — Eag cola worth un venen, gulan ef re gollas an 

For listening to a woman, he has cjuite lost his place. 

14. — Kyn pen vis. 

Before the end of a month. 

1 5. — Eva, kyns del vy serrys, my a wra oil del vynny. 

Eva, rather than thou shalt be angry, I will do all 
that thou wishest. 



(As given by TFilliams in his Lexicon Cornu-Briiannicum, in 
the orthogrcqyhy of the Cornish dramas). 


1. — Yn dalleth Dew a wrug nef ha'n nor. 

2. — Hag ydh es6 an nor heb composter ha gwag ; ha tew- 

olgow ese Avar enep an downder, ha Spyrys Dew rilg 

gwaya war enep an dowrow. 
3. — Ha Dew a leverys, bydhens golow, hag ydh es6 golow. 
4. — Ha Dew a welas an golow may fe da: ha Dew a 

dhyberthas an golow dheworth an tewolgow. 
5. — Ha Dew a henwys an golow djdh, ha'n tewolgow ef a 

henwys nos : ha'n gorthuer ha'n myttyn o an censa 

6. — Ha Dew a leverys, bydhens ebren yn creys an dow- 
row, ha gwrens e dhybarthy an dowrow dheworth an 

7. — Ha Dew a wrug an ebren, ha dhybertJias an dowrow 

es6 yn dan an ebren dheworth an dowrow ese a uch 

an ebren : hag yn delna ydh o. 
8. — Ha Dew a henwys an ebren nef : ha'n gorthuer ha'n 

myttyn o an nessa dydh. 


9. — Ha Dew a leveryp, bydhens an dowrow yn dan an nef 

cuntullys warbarth dlie un tyller, ha bydhens an tyr 

sych dyscudhys : hag yn delna ydh o. 
10. — Ha Dew a henwys an tyr sych. an nor, ha cuntellyans 

warbarth an dowrow ef a henwys mor: ha Dew a 

welas may fe da. 
11. — Ha Dew a leverys, gwrens an nor dry rag gwels, ha 

losow ow ton has, ha'n gwydh ow ton avalow warlerch 

aga echen, neb usy aga has ynne aga honan, war an 

uor : hag yn delna ydh o. 
12, — Ha'n nor a dhros rag gwels, an losow ow ton has 

warlerch aga echen, ha'n gwydh ow t6n avalow, neb 

usy aga has ynn6 aga honan warlerch aga echen : ha 

Dew a welas may fe da. 
13. — Ha'n gorthuer ha'n myttyn o an tressa dydh. 
14. — Ha Dew a leverys, bydhens golowys yn ebren nef 

dhe cihybarthy an dydh dheworth an nos, ha bydhens 

y rag tavasow, ha rag termynyow, ha rag dydhyow, 

ha rag bledhynnow. 
15. — Ha bydhens y rag golowys yn ebren nef dhe rey 

golow war an nor : hag yn delna ydh o. 
16. — Ha Dew a wrug dew golow bras: an brassa golow 

dhe rewlye an dydh, ha'n behanna golow dhe rewlye 

an nos : ha'n ster ef a's gwrug yn wedh. 
17. — Ha Dew a's goras yn ebren nef, dhe rey golow war an 

18. — Ha dhe rewlye an dydh ha'n nos, ha dhe dhybarthy 

an golow dheworth an tewolgow, ha Dew a welas may 

fe da. 


19. — Ha'n gorthuer ha'n mj^ttyn o an peswer^ dydh. 

20. — Ha Dew a leverys, gwrens an dowrow dry rag pfir 
ver an taclow us ow gwaya gans bewnans, liag edhyn 
dhe nyge dres an nor a les yn ebren nef. 

21. — Ha Dew a wrug an morvilow bras, ha ceniver tra 
bew us ow gwaya, neb a rilg an dowrow dry rag pur 
ver, warlercli aga echen, ha ceniver edhen gans ascal 
warlerch hy echen ; ha Dew a welas may fe da. 

22. — Ha Dew a wr<ig aga benyge y, ha leverys, bydhouch 
luen a h^s, ha drouch rag pur ver, ha lenouch an 
dowrow yn mor, ha gwrens an edhyn dry rag piir ver 
yn nor. 

23. — Ha'n gorthuer ha'n myttyn o an pempes dydh. 

24. — Ha Dew a leverys, gwrens an nor dry rag an taclow 
bew warlerch aga echen, an lodnow, ha'n taclow 
cramyas, ha bestes an nur warlerch aga echen ; hag 
yn delna ydh o. 

25. — Ha Dew a wriig bestes an n6r warlerch aga echen, 
ha'n lodnow warlerch aga echen, ha ceniver tra As ow 
cramyas war an nor, warlerch aga echen : ha Dew a 
welas may fe da. 

26. — Ha Dew a leverys, gwren den yn agan del ny, war- 
lerch agan havalder ; ha gwrens y cemeres gallos dres 
an pusces an mor, ha dres an edhen an ebren, ha dres 
an milyow, ha dres ol an nor, ha dres ceniver tra 
cramyas fts ow cramyas war an nor. 

27. — Yn delna Dew a wrfig den yn havalder y honan, yn 
havalder Dew of a'n gwrftg ; gorrow ha benow ef a's 


2S. — Ha Dew a wriig aga benyg^, lia Dew a leverj^s 
dhedhe, bydhouch luen a has, ha drouch rag pGr ver, 
ha lenonch an nor, ha bydhouch dresto; ha cemerouch 
gallos dres pusces an mor, ha dres an edhyn yn ebren, 
ha dres ceniver tra vew (is ow gwaya war an nor. 

29. — Ha Dew a leverys, mirouch, yma reys genef vy 
dheuch ceniver losow ow ton has, neb us war ol an 
nor, lia ceniver gwedhen, us an avalow an gwedhen 
ynny ow ton has, dheuch y fydh rag boys. 

30. — Ha dhe oil an bestes an nor, ha dhe geniver 
edhen an ebren, ha dhe geniver tra iis ow cramyas 
war an nor, us bewnans ynne, yma reys genef ceniver 
lusuan glas rag boys, hag yn delna ydh o. 

31. — Ha Dew a welas ceniver tra ese gwreys ganso, ha 
mirouch, ydh o ve pur dha; ha'n gorthuer ha'n myttyn 
an wheffes d}'dli. 


In the preceding account we have seen how the old 
Cornish language had been driven from the East to the 
extreme West of the County by the onward and un- 
ceasing progress of the English tongue. 

A little more than three hundred years ago, the 
ancient Cornish was understood, and spoken, from one end 
of Cornwall to the other. About the year 1700, we find 
its use confined to the Land's End district, about St. 
Paul, and St. Just, and there used only by fishermen, 
market people, and tinners. By the end of the last 
century it had become all but utterly extinct, and now, 
(1881) as an oral language, scattered words are all that 
are left ; and so ends the use of a fine old language which 
dates back to almost unknown time. 

We must, however, except the names of persons, 
towns, farms, villages, hills, valleys, &c., and also the 
technical names used by miners, farmers, fishermen, &c., 
a great proportion of such words being actual remains of 
the old Cornish language. 

During the long period that the old tongue was being 
superseded by the encroaching English language, the 
people of Cornwall had gradually become accustomed to 
the use of the new language, and the remote, almost 


island-like position of Cornwall, is no rloubt the cause of 
the retention in the Cornish dialect of so many old 
English words in use to this very day. 

We have in the provincial dialect a singular mixture 
of old Cornish and old English words, which gives so 
strong an individuality to the Cornish speech. 

As, in speaking English, a Frenchman, or a German 
uses more or less of the accent peculiar to each, so it is 
very probable that the accent with which the Cornish 
speak, is one transferred from their ancient Cornish lan- 

The "sing-song," as "strangers" call it, in the Cornish 
speech is not so evident to Cornishmen, when they listen 
to their own Dialect. 

It has been observed, that when Tregellas, in any 
place out of the County, gave one of his inimitable lectures 
on the Cornish patois, it was not appreciated as it deserved, 
yet Cornish audiences richly enjoyed it ; but then the 
latter were more Celtic, and those in distant places more 

The cerebral, and subtle difference, between the Celt 
and the Saxon, may be the reason why the former per- 
ceived the wit and fun, and the latter little, if at all. 
Truly of this may it be said that appreciation is one of 
the talents. 

As the old Cornish gave place to English, a provincial 
dialect composed of both being the result, so the last in 
its turn, as we are witnessing in our day, is rapidly passing 
away, and there threatens to be at no distant time a 
similarity of speech everywhere. As this general levelling 


a large number of forcible and quaint words, 
and phrases, -will be lost unless they be recorded. 

It may be thought that to preserve such dialectic 
words will be neither useful nor ornamental to English 
speech, on the contrary, that it would be better for such 
barbarous, vulgar, and uncouth modes of speech, to be 
thrust aside. 

But are they barbarous, vulgar, and uncouth? What if 
the charges were reversed 1 Suppose modem English con- 
demned as vulgar, and an order given that the Cornish 
dialect should be used instead. In a short time the 
dialect which had become fashionahle, would be found to 
be of high polish, elegant, and expressive. 

Somebody said that "grammar was made for language 
and not language for grammar," and as to words being 
vulgar, it depends on the manner in which they are used, 
and from whose mouths they fall. The words are not so 
much in fault, for we have often heard sentences full of 
grossness and vulgarity, expressed in very elegant lan- 

It would be startling and amusing, if, in an English 
drawing-room, an elegant lady were to turn to a friend and 
make a request, thus, " Woll'ee ax en plais"? instead of 
saying "Will you ask him if you please"'? yet all that 
could be said of it would be, that the former expression 
was spoken in a dialectic form, and the latter simply in 
current English. 

Now as to the word 'Ax' (for ask), we are told by 
Toone in his "Dictionary of obsolete and uncommon 
words," that Ax, though now considered as vulgar and 


ungrammatical, was in use centuries before the modern 
word ' ask,' to signify the same thing ; in truth the latter 
word is corrupted from the Saxon. 

" Axe not why, for the' thou axe me 
I ivol not tellen God's privitie. 

Chaucer, " Millcfs Tale." 

In this quotation two of the words in the lady's 
request, ax for ask and ivol for will, have very good 
authority for their use, and we find them still retained in 
the Cornish dialect. 

Words like them, therefore, are not vulgar, they are 
simply disused by the educated of modern days. As to a 
dialect being vulgar and ungrammatical, there may be 
found in Latham's Elements of Comparative Philology 
some instructive remarks on this very subject. He says 
" of that particular form of his mother tongue which any 
individual uses, the speaker is thoroughly, and in every 
sense, the master. He uses it as an instrument of his own. 
He uses it as he uses his arms and legs : to a great extent 
unconsciously, but almost always instinctively. He cannot 
err in this, so long as he is at one and the same time, 
unconscious, spontaneous, and intelligible. If he thinks 
about grammar, and, by so doing, modify its spontaneity, 
it is pro tanto, a language influenced aliunde. 

"As long as he speaks it simply from his instincts 
it is in good grammar; being simply what he makes it. 
What is called bad grammar is a detail in which he differs 
from some one else who calls his i'onn of speech good 


"It does not follow however, from this that there is no 
such thing as bad grammar. The term has two meanings, 
if signifies the actual representation of a language and the 
formal scheme of a language. 

^^ Language as a fact, must he taken as it is, and repre- 
sented as it best may he. 

" If language at all times and in all places, stands in 
the same relation to its ideas as an exponent it is equally 
good as a language." 

But, whatever difference of opinion may exist as to 
the elegance or the rudeness of a language or dialect, one 
thing seems very certain, that at no distant time, that 
arch-enemy of all dialects, the modern school-board, will 
rapidly bring about a great change in Cornish speech. 

Already, to a large proportion of Cornish people, 
especially the young, the Cornish dialect is become almost 
a dead language, and many of the words are to them as 
unintelligible as Sanscrit. 

The greater intercommunication during the past fifty 
years has made a great change, and this has been much 
accelerated since the ojDening of the Cornwall railway in 

Formerly, instead of one Cornish dialect there were 
many, which differed more or less from each other, indeed, 
even in adjoining parishes there were different modes of 
speaking. Still, taken as a whole, there was, and is, a 
marked distinction between the dialect of Cornwall and 
the other parts of the kingdom. 

Eude as the patois of Cornwall may appear to stran- 
gers, yet no Cornishman familiar with it, listens to it other 



than with fondness. Whether at home, or in the distant 
colonies, the sound of the homely Cornish dialect falls 
pleasantly on the ear, and revives a host of kindly thoughts 
and feelings. 

As a dialect, it may be asserted, that it is one of the 
most quaint, expressive, and friendly-sounding of any in 
the kingdom, and its characteristics seem to be the reflex 
of the civil, manly, and independent character of the 
inhabitants themselves ; terms of eulogy given to them so 
long ago by Diodorus Siculus. 

The shadow of the dead Cornish language still hangs 
over the dialect, and gives it a character not easily 
described; due probably to the intermixture of words, 
and the constant use of names of places, persons, &c., such 
names being of ancient Cornish origin. 

The dialect is very capable of expressing odd ideas 
with fun and wit, and the "sayings" whether imported 
or native, are frequently very amusing, and characteristic 
of the Cornish people, thus ; 

" Laughing like a piskey," 

is curious as referring to the traditionary merriment of the 
fairies. Again : — 

" Like Collins's cow," {i.e. worried in mind). 

Then again, the fun and superstition combined in the 
following proverb, which however is spoken out of Corn- 
wall also : 

" A whistling woman, and a crowing hen, 
Are two of the unluckiest things under the sun," 


also, the quaint adaptation of the name of a place of bad 
repute, to anything expressive of dirt and disorder, as 

" The place is like Lanson jail," 

meaning, what old Lanson jail was formerly, viz., dirty and 

Then the fun and the fear in the following rhyme : 

"Jack o'the lantern! Joan the wad 
■Who tickled the maid and made her had 
Light me home the weather is bad." 

Couch's " Polperro." 

The terse proverb used of a good catch of pilchards is 
very Cornish like, 

" Meat, money, and light, 
All in one night." 


and satirical sayings like the following, have the peculiar 
vein of Cornish fun and wit, and when uttered in the 
Cornish dialect sound droll enough. 

"He is like the Mayor of Calenick who walked two miles, to 
ride one." 

" Like Nanny Painter's hens, very high upon the legs " (said 
of a tall thin person;. 

" He is like the Mayor of Falmouth, who thanked God when 
the town jail was enlarged." 

B. HunVs " Romances of the West of England." 

But such " sayings " fall flat on paper, they have only 
to be heard spoken by a Cornishman in his native dialect, 
to be appreciated. If the reader desire more real and 
characteristic examples of the dialed, he should read the 


"Tales" by Tregellas, Forfar, Daniel &c. (See the Ap- 
pendix.) Tregellas was "thorough," and it may well be 
asked, where shall we find his like again 1 Who again 
will so amuse with droll Cornish stories as they were told 
by William Hicks, of Bodmin. What tales ! and with 
such a hearty relish too in relating them ! 

The stories of Tregellas, really amusing and faithfully 
illustrative as they are, fall far below what they seemed 
when told by the living man himself. His perfect assump- 
tion of character and Cornish accent, his expression, action 
and fun, were irresistible provokers of mirth, and his 
listeners were sure to have aching sides after hearing him. 
The writer has heard him lecture again and again, 
more than forty years ago. It was something to listen to 
Tregellas, the very master of the Cornish dialect, and the 
King of Cornish fun. 

The dialect of Cornwall is a compound one, as 
already stated, and its name should be "motley" for it is 
found to be composed of, 1st, The remains of the old 
Cornish language; 2nd, Many old English words; 3rd, 
English words used in a provincial manner; 4th, Many 
words which apparently are mere slang. The origin of 
the last there seems no method of accounting for, probably, 
like "Topsy" in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," they "growed"; 
and 5th, Purely English words spoken in the usual manner. 
About forty or fifty years ago, there were just as 
many shades of the dialect as there are towns in the 
County, and as at that time there was comparatively but 
little inter-communication, the people of different districts 
were easily known by certain peculiarities of speech. 

Tregellas used to notice this in his lectures, and give 
ilhistrations, so that his listeners could at once perceive the 
difference even between two mining districts. 

Although there were, and still are, many minor shades 
of Cornish speech, yet speaking generally it may be said 
for the sake of making a convenient distinction, that 
there are two dialects in the County, one which may be 
called that of the husbandman, the other that of the 

Where they border on each other they intermingle, 
where districts are more widely separated, in each the 
dialect is more distinct and characteristic. 

This is observed in the towns also, although as may 
be sujiposed the difference is not so marked. 

During the past half century the peculiarities of speech 
in the towns, and indeed in the rural districts also, have 
very much altered, and have been tending to greater 

Formerly it was very easy to distinguish between a 
man of Bodmin, and one from either Launceston, Liskeard, 
Withiel, St. Columb, and more especially from St. Agnes, 
Redruth, or St. Just. 

In the west of the County we find a considerable 
number of old Cornish words still in use, but they become 
much fewer as we go eastwards. In distant parts of the 
County, the words are often the same, although spoken 
with different accents. Indeed, the provincial words are 
so inextricably mixed up, that it is hard to say as regards 
a large proportion of them, which are of the eastern and 
which of the western dialect. The accent of the husband- 


man is intensified towards the east, that of the miner 
towards the west, but with various interminglings of each. 

It is hard to point out a line of demarcation, so 
insensibly do the branches of the dialect overlap each 
other, and become gradually shaded away. 

The writer considers that somewhere between Bodmin 
and St. Austell, a line drawn north and south from sea to 
sea across the County, would indicate the locality where 
the dialect of the miner and that of the husbandman 
merge into each other. Mr. T. Q. Couch, in the introduc- 
tory remarks to his glossary of East Cornwall, considers 
that such a line should be further west, viz: "from 
Crantock Bay, on the St. George's Channel, to Veryan 
Bay, on the English Channel." This question is not very 
easy to decide. 

The story (given further on) of Richard and Betty at 
St. Austell is intended by the writer as a specimen of 
the dialect of that part of the County. It will be found 
to be, not exactly a miners' dialect, or very much that of 
the husbandman, and yet there is in the tale a mixture of 

The miner holds to his pecuHar form of speech, 
apparently with more tenacity than the husbandman. 

It requires close attention to discover any provincial 
accent among the educated classes. It is however notice- 
able more or less among them as we travel westwards, and 
especially near the mining districts. 

This is perceptible in travelling the short journey 
from Bodmin to St. Austell. 


There is a diflFerence between Launceston and Liskeard, 
but in both the English accent among the educated is very- 
good, so also in Bodmin ; in St. Austell there is more 
of the miners' accent, but it is not very perceptible 
without close attention. 

In Truro the English accent has been noticed even 
by the old writers to be remarkably pure, and so it conti- 
nues to this day. 

This is rather surprising when we remember how 
short a distance separates Truro from the mining popu- 

The Cornish idiom can be understood by a stranger 
to the County by reading such tales as those by Tregellas, 
Forfar, &c., &c., but of course to understand the accent it 
must be heard ; perhaps it is only a genuine Cornishman 
who, in in what looks like simple fun, can discover, or 
appreciate the very spirit and humour of the tale. 

The Cornish sometimes attend their funerals in great 
crowds, and it is a custom to sing hymns as the coffin is 
being borne along. When all are silent, and walking 
slowly along, the aspect of the crowd is, of course, sad, or, 
as we say in Cornwall, "wisht." 

As some, in deepest grief, break out into laughter as 
if defying sorrow, so this trait in human nature is seized 
upon, for some other occasion, * by Tregellas, who, in 
two simple but humorous lines gives the signal for cheer- 
ing up with singular felicity, 

" To shaw our sperrits lev us petch 
The laast new berrin-tune." 

* See " The St. Agnes Bear Hunt," by Tregellas. 


The following speech said to have been made at a 
farmer's dinner not far from ^Yadebridge will serve as 
an illustration. Whether it referred to landlords, or to 
tenants, is not certain, perhaps to both. 

" Eff yiew wur te dew, as yiew oft te dew, yiew 
wud dew a guddel bettur then yiew dew dew." 

Compare this with the miners' dialect as in this sentence : 

" That's awnly paart uv et, 'tes my belief thee 
doan't knaw whan thee'rt wale awf." 

In the Cornish dialect we find ordinary English words, 
a large number of old English words, many of which 
seem spoken as in the time of Chaucer, and as before 
noticed a great number of names of places, persons, &c., 
derived from the old Celtic language of Cornwall. 

The following is a specimen of the dialect in a form 
which is fast becoming disused : — 

"A es pinnikin, palchy, an totelin, a es clicky, 
an cloppy, an a kiddles, an quaddles oal daa, — 
Tes wisht." 

which, turned into the ordinary English, means, " He is 
little, weakly, and imbecile, he is left-handed and lame, 
and he fidgets idly about all the day long. Tis sad." It 
is not the object of the writer to explain to any great 
extent, the origin of such words, such a task is very wil- 
lingly left to the practical philologist, who certainly has a 
wide field for his exertions in dealing with the dialect of 
Cornwall. That there are many common words, and even 

Cornish forms of expression, and thought, to be found in 
the writings of Chaucer, seems evident from the compari- 
sons and quotations from that poet, as given further on. 

It is difficult to say what was the exact pronunciation 
of English 500 years ago when Chaucer wrote, but it is 
startling to find so many words common to him, and to 
the Cornish dialect of the present day, and judging by the 
rhyme, after making due allowance for the poet's license, 
pronounced in the same manner. 

In the Cornish pronunciation we commonly find that 
i is pronounced like e, as selver for silver ; the e like ai, as 
raide for read; the a like aa, as traade for trade; the o 
like aw, as awnly for only ; the s like z, as said for said ; 
the u like oo, as oogly for ugly ; the / like v, as vaather for 
father, and the g is almost always dropped at the end of 
a word, as writin for writing, seitin for sitting. There are 
other differences also ; the miner may be said to speak 
more broadly than the husbandman, and to more fre- 
quently use aw for o, and v for /. 

There is a frequent use of the word do; instead of 
saying, / know, it is, / do know, or, as in the western 
dialect, / de knaw ; the Cornishman in saying, " I do 
know," does not use the word do with emphasis, as in 
ordinary English ; and also for / tUnk the western man 
will say, I de theenk, which in the eastern dialect is 
expressed by " semmee to me." 

In such words as thick, thing, and thin, the th is 
pronounced not like (/, or like th, but in a manner half- 
way between the two. The vowel is doubled, or prolonged, 


and the words become theek, theeng, and theen. This is 
apparently a transmitted peculiarity from the old Cornish 

Williams in his Cornish Dictionary (Celtic) has no 
word beginning with th in the ancient language, and he 
says of the letter d, that in the Cornish, " when radical 
it changes its construction into dh which has the sound of 
th in the English words this, than." In some parts of 
Brittany, they pronounce dh as z to this very day. 

It is well known how hard it is for foreigners, to 
pronounce th and the writer well remembers how great 
were the attempts of a Frenchman to say 

"They think that they are thoroughiy thrashed" 
after many efforts his despairing cry was "mais c'est 
impossible " and so it was to him ; but we know that it is 
not so with all foreigners. Four or five hundred years 
ago when the Cornish began to lose their ancient lan- 
guage, they may have had the same difficulty with th, and 
there is a trace of this in their manner of saying theeng 
for tiling. Now, as a race the Cornish have no difficulty, 
l)erhaps time has overcome it, as it might in a race of 
Frenchmen after speaking English for centuries. 

There is another very common phrase, viz: "How 
be'ee 1^ " for, How are you 1 this is only, " How be ye 1 " 
making the y an i which in the Cornish dialect is pro- 
nounced like e. This is more common in the west after 
passing St. Austell, As we advance eastwards we find 
that the word 7jieiv (you) is a very representative expression 
and increasingly so as we travel towards the Tamar where 


there is no obvious diflference between the dialects of 
Devon and Cornwall. 

The Devon dialect drives back the Cornish from the 
east of the County. 

Near the Tamar we hear the people saying "How are 
yiew ? " or " How be yiew '' the word yiew being spoken 
with a curious twist of the mouth ; also the expressions 
referred to already, viz : " Semmee " or " Semmee to me " 
for "I think." 

There also, we hear people saying her for she as "Ther 
her gothe." 

In all shades of the Cornish dialect it is very common 
to use he for it but the miner generally says et for it as in 
this expression " He' eve a dun et " for " He has done it " 
and a for he, thus : " Iss a ded" i.e. "Yes he did." It is 
rare, if ever, that in the dialect the adjective is used after 
the noun. There is a favourite expression in the west, 
and one of endearment when speaking to a little child. 
It is " cheel-vean or cheeld-vean," meaning " child little." 

It is singular that the Cornish do not often place the 
adjective after the noun; in speaking their ancient lan- 
guage they commonly did so. 

In order to form some idea of the pronunciation, 
the following examples are given, and, making due allow- 
ance for differences in the Cornish dialect, may do suffi- 
ciently well. 


The Alphabet as Spoken in Ordinary English, 


English. Cornish. 
















i or eye 

i or eye 















koo or kiew 











u or you 

00 or yiew 







double u 


double yew 



ct cetera 

ampassy, also passy 


The numerals are pronounced just as follows: 1, 
Wawn ; 2, Tew or dew; 3, Dree; 4, Fower, or vower; 
5, Vyve ; 6, Zix; 7, Zebb'n; 8, Ite; 9, Nyne ; IG, Tane ; 
11, Levv'n, or Lebb'n: 12, Twaelve: &c. 

Conjugation of the Auxiliary and Xeuter Verb 
To Be, in the Cornish Dialect. 

Present Tense. 
Singular. Plural. 

1.— Ibe. 1.— Webe. 

2. — Tliee airt, or thee'rt. 2. — Yew be. 

3. — A es, she es, et es. 3. — Thay be. 

Imperfect Tense. 
Singular. Plural. 

1. — I waz. 1. — We waz. 

2. — Thee, or Yew waz. 2. — Yew waz. 

3.— A waz. 3.— Thay waz. 

Perfect Tense. 
Singular. Plural. 

1. — I haave a ben. 1. — "\Ve haave, or wee've 

a ben. 
2. — Thee'st a ben. 2. — Yew haave, or you've 

a ben. 
3. — A haave a ben. 3. — Thay haave, or thay've 

a ben. 



Singular. Plural. 

1. — I haad a ben. 1. — We liaad a ben. 

2. — Thee hciad, or theed a 2. — Yew haad a ben. 

3. — A haad a ben. 3. — Thay haad a ben. 

FiKST Future Tense. 

1. — I shaal, or shul be. 

1.— We shaal, shul, or wol 

2. — Thee shust, wust, or 
wol be. 

2. — Yew shaal, shul, or 
wol be. 

3. — A shaal, or wol be. 

3. — Thay shaal, shul, or 
wol be. 

Second Future Tense. 
Singular. Plural. 

1. — I shaal, or shul a ben. 1. — We shul a ben. 

2. — Theelt a ben. 2. — Yew wol a ben. 

3. — A wol a ben. 3. — Thay wol a ben. 

Singular. ' Plural. 

1. — Lemm^, or laiv ma be. 1. — Laiv us be. 

2. — Be tha. 2.— Be yew, or be'ee. 

3. — Lett'n, or laiv'n be. 3. — Lett'm, or laiv'm be. 


Present Tense. 

Singular. Plural. 

1. — I may, or caan be. 1. — AVe may, or caan be. 

2. — Thee mayst, wust or i^. — Yew may, or caan be. 

cust be. 

3. — A may, or caan lie. 3. — Thay may, or caan be. 


Imperfect Texse. 
Singular. Plural. 

1.— I might, cud, Avud, or L— We might, cud, wud, 

shud be. or shud be. 

2.— Thee mights, cudst, 2.— Yew might, cud, wud, 

wudst, or shudst be. or shud be. 

3.— A might, cud, wud, 3. -Thay might, cud, wud, 
or shucl be. or shud be. 

Perfect Tense. 

Sinrjular. Plural. 

1. — I may, or caan a ben. 1, — We may, or caan a ben. 

2. — Thee mayst, wust or 2. — Yew ma}-, or caan a 

oust a ben. ben. 

3. — A may, or caan a ben. 3. — Thay may, or caan a 

Pluperfect Tense. 

Singular. Plural. 

1. — I might, cud, wud, or 1. — We might, cud, wud, 

shud a ben. or shud a ben. 

2. — Thee mights, cudst, 2. — Yew might, cud, wud, 

wudst, or shudst, a ben. or shud a ben. 

3. — A might, cud, wud, or 3. — Thay might, cud, wud, 
shud a ben. or shud a ben. 

Present Tense. 

Singular. Plural. 

1.— Eflbe. 1.— Efwebe. 

2. — Ef thee be, or airt, or 2. — Ef yew be. 

3.— Ef a be, or a es. 3.— Ef thav be. 


Imperfect Tense. 
Singular. Plural. 

1. — Ef I waz. 1. — Ef we waz. 

2. — Ef tha, or thee waz. 2. — Ef yew waz. 

3. — Ef a waz. 3. — Ef thay waz. 

The remaining Tenses are in accordance with similar 
ones in the previous moods. 

Present Tense. To be. Perfect Tense. To haave a ben. 


Present, Bein. Perfect, Ben. 

Compound Perfect, Haavin, or hevvin a ben. 



It is beyond the scope of this book to make long 
extracts from Cornish writers of tales, and not very neces- 
sary, because the reader can so easily obtain original books 
full of the dialect. 

What is here quoted will only be just sufficient to 
give some idea of what the Cornish dialect is like. The 
reader should remember how the letters are pronounced in 
reading the following from Tregellas's story, called " Cali- 

"And so Isaac, you have been fortunate in California, 
have you 1 Iss, why how fortinate ! I have had putty 
good speed theere, and a good many good little sturts. 
"Well, as you may say, I have done well-a-fine. But 'twas 
coose work theere I 'suree. My brother Tom was out 
theere weth me, and we lived like pigs a'most, we ded 
a'most, both of us ; that es to say, for the time you knaw. 
Aw, my dear ! sich sour maggoty bread, and sich ratten 
stinkin biskies, and sich sour belly-vengeance beer, when 
we could git any. 

And then the soort of a house we lived in wasn't 
better then a cow-house, what we righted up weth trees 
and sich like ; and as for our bed, Aw, my dear ! 'twas 
nothin' but strawy traade and leaves, and like that ; and 


all the waater we had to drink was the saame as we 
washed the gowld dowst in, and 'twas alwaj^s puddled. 
Aw, loar ! the owld gipsies what do live 'pen hedgyboors 
and that soort of niait, was more betterer off then we wor 
as regaard to livin'. Why we'd awnly waun laarge soort 
of saucepan to booil everything in, and baake too, and we 
had no spoons but two, what Tom and I maade out of 
two sticks," 

In the following example the words are spelt more in 
accordance with sound. It is from the story called, "Visit 
toLunnun'"' by " Uncle Jan Treenoodle." 

"Dost thee knaw, soas, I've ben op te Lunnun Church 

town 1 
A vine passel uv things I zeed theere te put down, 
AVer I sliced into slivers ze theen as a straw, 
I cudd'n tell tha haaf tha braave theengs as I zaw. 
Whay, now, what do'ee theenk? thaive got temberin 

Which es vitty at times, but for quilkins an tooads ; 
Puor spoort for tom-toddies, or a padgit6 pooe ; 
An whan et do cum, cheel, but a bit uv a skew. 
Why tha rain et do maake em so slippy, and slottery, 
'Tes no wawnder thay bosses, do git stogged, or trot awry. 
Then tha ' Cabs ' as they caals 'em, keeps pootin about, 
Like a Angleditch twisten etselve en an out. 
An thay 'Busses uv which then plaise sure theere's a mort, 
Skeyes about like tha bilers uv ingines en spooart. 
Wale cheel, as fur tha shops, I wer quite in a maze, 
'Fath I ne'er zeed sich booties en oal ma boom daays. 


Theere es sum wetli out-wenders as laarge as tha housen 
Oal prink'd op se pridy, wetli theere picters, an cloasen. 
An then, ef I ever ! sich vine tummals uv cloam, 
Thay maakes a scat-marchant uv thay spaars op te horn. 
Fur tha maaids thee mayst zee too, sich nackins an gownds, 
An sich aperns an coats ; I'd as lieve as tew pounds, 
That ma wive baan't slocked en thicky noshuns te zee, 
Fur ma vangings wud look scoy an wisht ef so be. 
She've jist caal'd ma a cropeing timdoodle i'facks ! 
'Caas uv cuyu I ded gev her less than she ded axe. 
Then plaise sure, theere's no caase te be creenin or dreulin, 
Be bedoled weth tha rhoomatiz, roadlin or pulin. 
Fur theere's doctirs as pomstirs oal soarts uv desaises, 
Theer't palcht op quite braave-like whenever thee plaises. 
What's tha odds, ef theer't scat oal abroad 1 'tes a pity, 
But en few hours' vallee, theer't flam-new an vitty." 


Az wance down Lemon Street I strayed, 

A leetle while agoan, 

I mit a putty lukkin maaid, 

A waalkin oal aloan. 

My dear ! Naow woll'ee haa a chaht 1 
Tha aivnin es sa vine, 
Ses she, I caa'nt agree to thaht, 
Becaase, 'tes haaf paste nyne. 

Aw ! haaf paste nyne ; my dear, yew'm wrong 
Plais shore, yew caan't be right, 
Be thikky clock I cum along, 
'Twas awnly haaf paste ite. 


Cum weth ma, soas ! Naow do'ee cum, 
We'el waalk abaout tha plaace ; 
She sweeng'd her aarm, an hikkin glum, 
She scat ma in tha faace. 

KESSELL. (A rarody.) 

Kessell. — Hiillaw Billy ! How be'ee 1 How es oal horn ? 

Billy. — Bad, shore nufF. T'howl magpie es dade. 

Kessell. — Aw ! Ee's dade, es a ? How cum that te be ? 

Billy. — A ovver-ait hesselve, a ded. 

Kessell. — Ded a 1 What waz et a ait ? 

Billy. — Hoss-flesh, tell a cudd'n clunk no moar. 

Kessell. — How cum a te git that soort uv mait 1 

Billy. — Maister's bosses. 

Kessell. — Thay baen't dade be'um 1 

Billy. — Iss, oal awin te haard wurk. 

Kessell. — What haard wurk do'ee main 1 

Billy. — Thay putt' em te draa waater. 

iTesse/^.— What vur 1 

Billy. — le put tha vire out weth. 

Kessell. — Vire ! what vire ? 

Billy. — Doant'ee knaw ; Way Maister's houz es oal a burn 

Kessell. — Vaather's houz a burn down ! How waz et 1 
Billij. — Thay gashly owld lanturns ded et, I de theenk. 
Kessell. — Lanturns! what be'ee laalkin abaouf? whane waz 

Billy.— "Yhsit theeie time wliane we was bcrrin yewer poar 



KesseU. — JMawther ! Es she dacle 1 

Billy. — Iss, and nevvur spok no moar aafter tlialit. 

KesseU. — Aafter what ? 

Billy. — Aafter ower owld maister dide. 

KesseU. — Es vaather dade too % 

Billy. — Iss, a tuk to es bade direkly a was towld ? 

KesseU. — Towld ! what waz a towld ? 

Billy. — Desmal newas, plais shore. 

KesseU. — Aw loar ! what wisht newas waz et 1 

Billy. — Wale ef yew must knaw I'le tell'ee, Tha Bank's a 

KesseU. — Aw, dear ! Aw, dear ! Thickky es tha wishtest 

theeng uv oal. "We shul oal be scat, evvery wawn 

uv us. 

In the following story the writer has endeavoured to 
show that the Cornish Dialect is as capable of pathos as 
of fun. The dialect put into the mouths of Eichard and 
Betty is a specimen of what may be heard near St. Austell. 

(A Parody.) 

Wawn day laast week I caaled inta owld Spletfigs fur 
te buy a bit a bacon, whane Avho shud I mit but my owld 
swithart Betty Polglaze; she stopp'd oal to waunce an 
zaid, " Way Eechard es that yew, 1 " an I zaid " Iss, 'tes 
me shore nulF," an she zaid " Eechard be'ee cummin te 
St. Austell Faist temorra?" an I zaid '"No — I ded'n knaw, 


I might prAps," an Betty lafFed; an thane I zaid "I wud," 
an zo I niaade op me mind te go te St. Austell Faist, 
Nex mornin I got out a bade, an put on me clain things 
an a noo pair uv lace-ops what I boft in te town laast 
maarket day. 

Thay waz Cordivan letther, an thay draad me vit zo 
that I cud haardly cloppy along. Howsumevvur whane I 
cum inte town I zeed Betty in her faether's doar-way, an 
tew cha^DS hangin awn, wawn wawn zide, an tha t'other 
tha other, an I ded feel oal ovver in a putty way. Aw ! 
Massy ! I'de a nation good mind te give aich uvv'um a 
good clout onder tha ear, fur Betty she ded'n take no notice, 
zo I glaazed at her, but she ded'n mind, an thane I gived 
her a bit of a titch in tha aelbaw, an thane she zaid "Way 
Rechard es that yew 1" an I zaid " Iss 'tes shore nufF," 
an she zaid, " Rechard woll'ee cum in an set down a bit 1 " 
and I zaid "Iss I wud" an zo I ded, an I waalked in; 
an whane I cum in I found a fine passel uv people inside, 
lots uv'um, an Betty zaid, "Rechard, woll'ee haave aliddl 
drap a sumthini" an I zaid, "Iss thenk'ee," an I ded, an 
a nice liddl drap et waz, an I laffed, an waz feelin cum- 
furtable like, very cumfurtable ; an Betty zaid, " Rechard 
woll'ee zing a bit uv a zong 1 and I zaid " Iss I wud way 
oal me hart," an zo I ded. 

Aw ! I caal te mind very wale that thikky waz tha 
fust zong I zing'd te Betty, an she zaid, "Yew'l zing 
wawn moar, want'ee?" an I zaid, "Iss, that I wud," an 
zo I ded, an turn'd to an zing'd wance moar. 

Aw, dear ! Thikky waz tha laast zong evvur I ded 
zing te poar Betty. 


Et waz gittin laate an zo I zaid, "Betty, 'tes time fur 
me te go hom," an she zaid, "whanever yew de wish 
Rechard," an I zaid, "Woll'ee cum an ze ma paart uv tha 
way hom, Betty"?" an she zaid she wud, an zo she ded, an 
cum along way me oal tha way down te tha bottom uv tha 
town; an thane I lukked at Betty an I zaid "Betty give 
us a kess, now woll'ee ? " an she zaid " Iss she wud," an 
she ded too, an she gived me a kess. 

" Wale, Betty, thee'st lemm'ee cum an ze'ee te-morra 
night?" an she zaid "'tes jist as yew de wish Eechard" 
an zoon aefter I staerted fur hom, an got inte bade. 

Tha aivnin aefter that, I went te mit Betty. Ite 
a'clock ! an Betty wadd'n cum — Nyne a'clock ! an no Betty 
— tane a'clock, an no Betty — lebb'n, twaelve a'clock, an no 
Betty ; zo I zaid to meselv, 'tes sa well te go hom as stay 
heer, an zo I ded, an nex mornin I heerd that poar Betty 
waz tuk very bad, very bad shore nufi", an that she sent 
word fur me te cum ; zo I went, an zeed poar Betty, an 
she zaid, " Rechard, ef so be that I waz te die, yew'l go 
te me berrin want'ee ?" an 1 zaid, " I dedn't knaw what 
te zay "' — " praps " — an thane I zaid, " I wud," an I ded, 
an I waalked behind tha coffin zingin hymns oal tha way, 
fur poar Betty dide — Iss she ded — an I de nevvur go 
inside St. Austell berrin-groun wethout I de drap a tear 
in mind uv poar Betty Polglaze. 


Compared icith several which are found in the tvriting of 

(Chaucer was born A.D. 1328, aud died A.D. 1400.) 

The following are some common words as spoken in 
Cornwall. Without asserting that all are correctly com- 
pared, yet taken as a whole, they sesm very familiar to a 
Cornishman, as he meets with them in the quaint old 
English verse of Chaucer. 

It is not contended that similar words are never used 
elsewhere ; only that they are not now so pronounced by 
the educated classes in Cornwall, and that while found in 
Chaucer's writings, such words also form a portion of the 
Cornish dialect. 

As is well known, many old words in Spenser, and in 
Shakspere, are still used in Cornwall, but they are few 
compared with those to be found in Chaucer. 

The form of English which first reached Cornwall 
when the ancient language was passing away, was appar- 
ently that of Chaucer, which, after his death, at last 
passed the banks of the Tamar, and spread gradually 
towards the west. 

As the language changed, influenced as it must have 
been by such writers as Spenser, Shakspere, &c., so in 
succession, wave after wave of English passed from the 


east into Cornwall, each wave modifying the dialect spoken 
by the Cornish during the long period of the decay of the 
ancient Celtic tongue of the County. 

As a Cornishman, one often feels "at home" in 
reading some parts of Chaucer, especially the " Coke's 
Tale of Gamelyn," thus, the following verse, when read 
in Cornish fashion, does not seem to have been written 
500 years ago : — 

" As they were eting and drinking 

Of the best wele and fine. 

Then said the t'on to the t'other 

This is yonge Gamelyn." 

In the following comparisons, the ordinary English 
word is first given in black letter ("Advise"), then 
the Cornish form of it in ITALICS, and for each some 
quotations by way of illustration. Thus the reader will 
be enabled to judge for himself. 

The spelling in the extracts from Chaucer, is that 
given in "The Complete Edition of the Poets of Great 
Britain " published by John and Arthur Arch, of London, 
and Bell, Bradfute and Mundell of Edinburgh. The 
following is the 


Advise. AFISE. 

"Now be well avysed ageyne to-morowe day, 

Then shalt thou have thy jugemeut, ther is no more to say." 
(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 
" And so much the more that thou art uat wise, 

And cans't nat me of no mauer avisc." {Ibid.) 

Afraid. AFERED. 

"Was in a bush, that no man might him se, 
For sore afercd of his deth was he." 

[Canterhury Tales.) 

Alas! ALA AS/ (so pronounced.) 

" Thus herte mine ! for Antenor a/as ! 
But how shull ye doeu in this wot'ull caas." 

{Troilus <£• Creseide.) 

"What shall I doon, my Pandarus Alas! 
Sens that there is no remedy in this caas." 


Are. AAR. (so pronounced.) 

" That it n'ill as the moeble fare, 
Of whiche thei first delivered are.'" 

[Bomaunt of the Rose.) 

Ask. AX. 

"You lovers axe I now this question, 

Who hath the werse, Arcite or Palamon? " 

[The Knight's Tale.) 

"Under the mone that may wane and waxe, 
And for my werk right nothing wol I axe.'' 

{The Doctour's Tale.) 

Asked. AXED. 

"If that he axed after Nicholas." 

{The Miller's Tale.) 

' ' And gan to bord ageyn and axed him in game, 
Sith thou art our fadir who is then our dame ? " 

(The Merchant's Second Tale. J 

Asking. AXING. 

" I you forgeve this trespas every del. 
And they him sware his axinf) fayr and wel." 

(The Canterbury Tales.) 

Bailiflfs. BAILIVES. 

" These joly knights and bailives 
These nonnis and these burgeis wives." 

(Romaunt of the Rose.) 

Bark. BERK, (also pronounced baark.) 

" And to herh as doith an hound and sey Baw baw." 

(Merchant's Second Tale. J 

Beasts. B A 1ST IS. 

" Of faire wethir and tempestis, 
Of qualme, of folke, and of testis." 

(The House of Fame.) 

Before. AFORE. 

" Thou must pass through the hall, but tary nat I rede, 
For thou shult fynd a dur up right afore thyu hede." 

(MerchanVs Second Tale.) 

" For as the seven sages had afore doclarid." 

" What should Mercie do but Trespas go afore. 
But Trespas, Mercie woll be litill store." 

(Cfiaucer's Ballads.) 

Between. BETJVIX. 

"Every man to other will seyne, 
That hetwyx you is somme synne." 

[Romance of the Lyfe of Ipoinydon.) 

" This was the forward pleinly for t'endite, 
Betwixen Theseus and him Arcite." (Ibid). 

Black. BLAKE, (pronounced blaak.) 

" Of lambe skynnys hevy and blake, 
It was full olde I undertake." 

(Romaunt of the Rose.) 
" As soon as poverte ginueth take, 
With mantil and with wedis blake." 

" An hat upon his bed with frenges blake, 
Sire, quod the Sumpnour, haile and wel atake. " 

(The Frere's Tale.) 


" Have here a light and loke on all these hlake. 
But oftin gan the hert to glad, and quake." 

{Troihis and Creseide.) 

Brass. BEAZ. 

" I found that on the wall there was 

Thus -written on a table of bras." 

{The House of Fame.) 
" Toke out his blacke trompe of bras, 

That foulir then the devill was." {Ibid.) 

Bull. BULL. (The m ijronounced as in dull, 

the same also in the word bullocks.) 
" For of the Pope I have the bull, 
I ne hold not mj' wittis dull." 

Busy. BEST. 

" The besij larke the messenger of day, 
Salewith in hire song the morwe gray." 

{Canterbury Tales.) 
" And while he besy was this fendly wretch, 
This false chanon, the foule fend him fetch." 

(Ihe Chanone's Yeomannes Tale.) 

Busily. BESILY. 

" Gan I beholdin besihj, 
And I wol tel you redily." {liomaunt of the Rose.) 

Carry. CARY. 

" And said twise by Saint Mary, 
Thou art a noyous thinge to cary." 

Case. CAAS. 

"But if it be in certaiue caas." 

(The House of Fame. J 

{Romaujit of the Rose.) 

" But thei would hatin you parcaas, 
If that ye iillin in ther laas." {Ibid.) 

" That 'till a lover longith in this caas." 

{Troilus and Creseide.) 
" That ben his frendis in such manir caas." 

" I tuck'd up, with arowes in ther caax." 

( Lefjend of Dido.) 

Chest. CHIST. 

"And eke of brotberhed. if that thee list, 
I have gold aud silver lying in my cJiist." 

(TJte Frere's Tale.) 

Contrary. CONTRABY. 

"Away fro truth it doth so varie, 
That to gode love it is contrdiie." 

(Romaunt of the Rose.) 

Crisp. CRIPS. 

" As writeth th'on in the Apocalyps, 
Her here that was owndie and crips." 

{Hotise of Fame.) 

Danger. DAUNGER. (also pronounced daanger.) 

" Wythout more daunger." 

{The Merchanfs Second Tale.) 

Dark. DERK. (also pronounced daark.) 

" N'iste wher she was for it was derk, 
But faire and wel she crept in by the clerk." 

(The Here's Tale.) 
"The shadowe makith her hemes merke, 
And her hornis to shewin derke." 

(Romavnt of the Rose.) 

Darkness. DERKNESS. 

" For thre dayis incessantly the derkness among them was." 
{The Merchanfs Tale.) 
" For fere of night so hatith the derknesse.'" 

(The Legend of Good Women.) 

Deaf. DEFE. (deef.) 

" For that 1 rent out of his book a lefe, 
That of the stroke myn ere wex all f/c/e." 

(The Wif of Bathe\<t prologue.) 
" Why that I rent out of his book a lefe, 
For which he smote me so that I was defe." 


Drove. DEOV or DEOFF. 

"And dro§'e all Lis brother's men, 
Eight soue on an hepe." 

[The Coke's Tale of Gamehjn.) 

Dwale. DJVALE. 

" Ther n'as no more ; nedeth hem no dwale, 
This miller hath so wisly bibbed ale." 

[The Beve's Tale.) 

Ease. AISE. (ese.) 

"And said, I love the both and preise. 
Sens that thine answere doth me ese." 

Else. ELS or ELLES. 

" Have we nat els now for to think oppon." 

( The Merchant's Second Tale,) 
"For she desirid nothinge elles, 
In certain, as the boke us telles." 

{The House of Fame.) 

Far. FEE. (or Fur, also Ver). 

" As fer as that the day beginneth dawe." 

(The Monhe's Tale.) 
" As ferre as I have remembraunce." 

[The Romaunt of the Rose.) 


" Then now in our tyme ; for all thing doith waste, 
Saff vile and cnrsid lyviug, that growith ali to faste." 

Four. FOJFEE. (also Vower.) 

" With other foircr I dare well sale, 
That uevir woll be toke awaie." 

{Romaunt of the Rose.) 

Fringes. FRENGES. 

" An hat upon his hed \\\i\ifrenries blake. 
Sire, quod the Sumpnour, haile and wel atake." 

{TheFrere's Tale.) 


Full. FULL, (the u as in dull.) 

" Now is the mone yong and of light dulle, 
Ere he come home it will be at the ftille." 

(The Bemedie of Love.) 

Full time. JLL TIME. 

"Lo Grenwich, there many a shrew is inne, 
It were al time thy tale to begin." 

{The Beve's Prologue.) 

Further. FORTHER FORE, (or Vorthervore.) 

''Farther for they wer aftir sent, and was their charge." 

{The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Gave. GOF or GOFF, also GA V. 

" He toke to the one staff, 
And beginning to worke wele, 
And gode strokes he gaff." 

{Coke's Tale of Gamelyn.) 

Glad. GLADE or GLAAD. 

" But God that alle made, 
That I shold sittin here fasting, 
And othir men make glade. " 

{Coke's Tale of Gamelyn.) 

" So shortly to conclude, the marriage was made, 
Betwene hir and Beryn, many a man to glade." 

{TJie Merchant's Second Tale.) 


" Ther stomblen stedes strong and down gnth all, 
He roUeth under foot as doth a ball." 

( The Knight's Tale.) 

Gown. GOJVND. 

" When Machyn wept sore and brought his fadir's goimid, 
And gaf bym the same knyfif oppon the see strond." 

{Tlie Merchant's Second Tale.) 


Had. HADE, (pronounced haacl) 

" She of her love grauut to him made, 
Sir Mirths her by the fingir hade." 

(Romaunt of the Rose.) 
" Upon the woundis that he hade, 
Thorough the eye, in my herte made." 

(Romaunt of the Rose.) 

Haul. 3ALE. 

"And cast over a perch, and hale along my throte." 

(Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Have. EAAFE. 

" And yet I had levir, as God my soule save, 
Se theswondir pleys then all the good I have." 

(Merchant's Second Tale.) 
" And if that wickid Deth him have, 
I well go with him in his grave." 

(Romaunt of the Rose.) 

Home. HOM. 

" If that I walke or play unto his hous, 
Thou comest hom as dronken as a mous." 

(Wife of Bathe's Prologue.) 

If it happen so. IF so BE. (pro. Ef so be.) 

"And if so be that thou my lady win. 
And sle me in this wode, ther I am in." 

(Canterbury Tales.) 
^* If so he that thou ne mayst not, 
Thin owen conseil hide." 

(The Taleof Melibeus.) 
"Be queinte or torned in another place, 
If so be thou wolt not do me grace ." 

(The Knighte's Tale.) 
Is. BE. 

" I trowe his habitation be there." 

(The Pardoner's Tale.) 



Fey. IS FEY. (By my fey.) 

"For he shal tell a tale by my fey, 
Although it be not worth a hotel hey." 

(The Manciple's Prologue.) 

Kep-kep-kep. (The call for a horse to come of 

his own accord, as used in Cornwall, and supposed to 
be not now used in any other County.) 

"With Kepc-Jccpe; stand, stand, jossa warderere, 
Or whistle thou, and I shal Icepe him here." 

(Tlie Reve's Tale.) 

Keys. KAYS. 

" Adam toke the kaies and lat 
Gamelyn out anon." 

(The Coke's Tale of Oamehjn.) 

" The opened and shet, and went hir wey, 
And forth with hem, they caried the Icay." 

(The Chanone's Yemanne's Tale.) 
" And if that bokis were awaie, 
I lorne were of all remenbraunce the Jcaie." 

(The Legend of good women.) 

Kiss. KESSE. 

•' For would she of her gentilnesse, 
Withoutin more me onis kesse." 

(The Eomaunt of the Rose.) 

Laugh. LOFF. (Lawgh.) 

" The burgoyses gon to lawgh." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Lend. LEN or LENE. 

" I n'ere but lost ; and therefore I you prey, 
Lene me this summe, or elles mote I dey." 

(The Shipmaime's Tale.) 


" Beseching him to lene a certain 
Of gold and he wold quite it him again." 

(The Clianone's Yemanne's Tale.) 
" Lene me a marke, quod he, but dayes three, 
And at my day I wol it quiten thee." 


Mad. MAZED. 

" Thyn help, quod Beryn ; lewde fole, 
Thow art more then masid, 
Dres the to the shippis ward with thy crown yrasid." 

( The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Master. MAISTER. 

" Sire Knight (quod he) my maister and my lord, 
Now draweth cutte for that is min accord." 

(The Canterbury Tales.) 
" But at the last his maister him bethought, 
Upon a day whan he his paper sought." 

(The Coke's Tale.) 
*' And afterward he said unto the Frere, 
Tel forth your tale min owen maister dere." 

(The Frere' s Prologue.) 

Merchant. MARCHANT. 

" Yit nethirles yf thy hert be so inly set. 
For to be a Marchaunf, for nothing woll I let." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

•' Though he be chapman or marchaunt, 
And have of golde many besaunt." 

(The Romaunt of the Rose.) 

Merchandise. MARCHANDISE. 

"Of my marchandise, such as he to-fore had seyn," 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 
" Or that he wold bergeyn eny marchandise, 
And right doith these marchandis in the same wise." 


Myself. MYSELVE. 

" It passeth not ten days or twelve, 
But it was tolde right to myselve." 

(The Eomaimt of the Rose.) 

Nature. NATUE. 

"Geffrey was right myghty, and wele his age did here, 
For natur was more substantial! when tho dayis wer." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Needle. NIDILL. 

"And gan this nidill threde anone." 

(The Romaunt of the Rose.) 

Near to. iriSTE. 

" And u'lste wher she was, for it was derk." 

(The neve's Tale.) 

Neither. NETRIR. 

" For comfort nethir counsaiU of my men have I noon." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Nonce. NONES. 

" Adam seide yong Gamely n, 

Y blissid he thy bones. 

That is a righte gode counsaile, 

Y givin for the nones." 

(The Coke's Tale of Gamelyn.) 

None. NO AN. 

"All was for naught, for still as stone. 
He lay ; and word ne spoke be none." 

(Chaucer's Dream.) 

Not. NAT. 

" Geffry was so nigh com that Beryn myght nat fle." 

(7 he Merchant's Second Tale.) 

" Naie, certainly, it shall nat be." 

(Tlie Romaunt of the Rose.) 

Number. NOMBER. 

" Of my diseses there is no nomber, 
Daungir and shame me encomber." 

(The Romaunt of the Rose.) 
Own. OTVEN. (Oan). 

"And sayd, this is a short conclusion, 
Your Given mouth by your confession." 

(The Canterbury Tales.) 

" Ne spaireth not min oive)i maister dere." 

(The Frere's Tale.) 

Pass. PAAS. 

"Wherefore er I woll ferthir gone or paas, 
Yet efte I the beseche and fully sale, 
That privity go with us in this caas." 

( Troilus and Creseide.) 

Place. PLASE. (plaas.) 

" And rid so forth talkying a soft esy pase, 
Homward to his plase ther that Eame was." 

Pour. POWER, (poure.) 

" The selfe dale or that veri-y houre, 
That I on hem began to poure'^ 

(The House of Fame.) 

Round. ROUK 

" Wherefore they gon roune." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Run. RENNE or REN. 

"Which that I herde renne faste by." 

(The Romaunt of the Rose.) 
" And doen his lose so wide renne, 
That all quicke we shouldin him brenne." 

" For pitee renneth sone in gentil herte, 
And though he first for ire quoke and sterte ." 

(The Knighte's Tale.) 

'* And many a yere as it passed henne, 
Sin that my tappe of lif beganne to renne." 

( The Reve's Prologue.) 
" The wif came leping inward at a renne, 
She sayd Alas ! youre hors goth to the fenne-" 

(The Beve's Tale.) 

Scatter. SCATER. 

" And som are scatered all the shore aboute, 
Som lepen into the roof withouteu doute." 

(TJie Clianone's Yemanne's Tale.) 

Self. SELVE. 

" It passith not ten dales or twelve, 
But it was tolde right to my sclvc.'" 

(The Eomaunt of tlie Rose.) 

Shall. SHUL. 

" And ye shid both anon unto me swere, 
That never mo ye sliul my contree dere." 

(The Knighte's Tale.) 
" Ne never shul have, terme of all hir lives." 

(The Frere's Tale.) 
" Bring eke with you a boile or elles a panne 
Ful of water, and ye shul wel see thanne." 


Should. SHUDDE. (shud.) 

" He knew not Caton, for his wit was rude, 
That bade a man shiidde wedde his similitude." 

(The Miller's Tale.) 
Shut. SHETTE. (shet.) 

" This Nicholas his dore faste shetie, 
And douu the carpenter by him he sette." 

(The Miller's Tale.) 
" Voideth your man, and let him be thereout, 
And shet the dore, while we ben about." 

(The Chanone's Yemanne's Tale.) 


"Of man ne woman forth right plaine, 
But shette her one eye for disdaine." 

(The Eomaunt of the Rose.) 

" Tho were the gates shette, and cried was loiide, 
Do now your devoir, yonge knightes proude." 

(The Knifjhte's Tale.) 
"And on the Monday whan it di-ew to night, 
He shette his dore, withouten candell light." 

(Tlie Millefs Tale.) 

Small. SMALE. (smaal.) 

" And smale foules maken melodie," 

(The Canterbury Tales.) 

" This goddesse on an hart ful heye sete, 
With smale houndes all about hire fete." 


" Wol ye here the Tale ? 

Ovide, amonges other thinges smale." 

(The Wif of Bath's Tale.) 

" Leteth your othes bothe gret and smale, 
But, Sires, now wol I tell you forth my tale." 

(The Pardonere's Tale.) 
" How Sire Thopas with sides smale, 
Priking over hill and dale." 

(The Rime of Sire Thopas.) 
"The mavis and the nightingale. 
And othir joly birdis smale.''' 

(The Eomaunt of the Rose.) 

" Turn over the leef, and ehese another tale. 
For he shal find ynow bothe grete and smale." 

(The Pardonere's Tale.) 

Smart. smert. 

" For many a man so hard is of his herte. 
He may not wepe although him sore smerte." 

(Canterbury Tales.) 

Some. SOM. 

" And som man wold out of his prison fayn, 
That in his house is of his mevnie slain." 

(Canterbury Tales.) 
" That by som aventure or som tretee. " 

" Som in his bed, som in the depe see, 
Som in the large feld, as ye may see." 

(The Knighte's Tale.) 

Soul. SOULE. (sowl.) 

" As God my soide save." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Sound. SOUK 

"This man comi^linin with a pitous soiin, 
For even like without addicioun." 

(The Complainte of the Blaclce Knighte ,) 
"Of 'hem that makin blodie soun, 
In trumpe, heme, and clarioun." 

(The House of Fame.) 

Standeth. STONDETH. 

" And is so grow in yeris that LX yeer ago. 
He sawe nat for age ; and yit it stondith so." 

( The Merchant's Second Tale,) 

Step. STAP. 

" And cried, out-aud-harrowe ! and nere hym gan to stap." 

(TJie Merchant's Second Tale.) 
" And would fayn have voidit and outward gan to stapp, 
But Machaigne arose, and sesid by the lapp." 


Sudden. SODEN. (soaden.) 

"But feir and soft wyth ese homward they her led, 
For her soden sekenes ful sore they were adred." 

(TJie Merchant's Second Tak,) 


Suddenly. SODENLY. 

" ! word, for pure anguysh that he toke sodenhj.^' 

(The MercJiant's Second Tale.) 
" AndsoDgeu all the roundel lustily, 
Into a studie he fell sodenly." 

(The Knighte's Tale.) 

Swift. SJFIFF. 

"Beryn made a swyff pase ; ther myght no man him let." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Swoon. SJFOUN. 

*' Or of aught elles, fledde were out of toune, 
Adoune he fell all sodainly in swoune." 

(Troilus and Creseide.) 

Tackling. TAKELING. 

" They made their talceltjng redy, and wend the sail acres." 

(The MerchanVs Second Tale.) 

Than. THEN. 

" Se the wondir pleys then all the good I have." 

{The MerchanVs Second Tale.) 

The other. THE T'OTHER. 

" The father sette on erth, and fast began to fie." 

(Coke's Tale of Gamelyn.) 
" Should do the t'odir's bidding." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

There. THEER and THER. 

" And aspyed reddy yf ye fynd me thej-e (theer), 
In the meen while I woU abyde here." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 
" And so them thought betir and leve their good ther, 
Then abyde ther oppon and have more fere." 


Throat. THROTT. 

" And yknet fast with a riding knot, 
And cast over a ijerch, and hale along my throte." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 


" And eke with peine that love me yeveth also, 
That doubleth all my tourment and my wo." 

(Tlie Canterbury Tales.) 
" For she is so grete turment." 

(The Eomaxint of the Rose.) 
" For turment that he had, so wery he was and fente. 
And to God above thus he made his pleyut." 

(The MerchanVs Second Tale.) 

Treason. TRAISON. 

" He that purchasid the traison, 
Of Boulande and of Olivere." 

(The Dreme of Chaucer.) 


A ! quod this sumpnour, benedicite, what say ye ? 
I wend ye were a yeman trewdy." 

(Tlie Frere's Tale.) 
" Bur trewely, min owen maister dere." 

(The Pardoner's Tale.) 

Twice. TWISE. 

" Now (quod Pandare) er houris twise twelve, 
He shal the ese unwist of it himselve." 

(Troilus <k Creseide.) 
" I have herd sale eke times twise twelve. 
He is a fole that woU foryete him salve." 


Upon. OPPON. 

" When he saw the pangis of deth comyng so fast, 
Oppon his wife Agea almost his hert to brast." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

(The Tale of Melibeus.) 

" Fawnus oppon a dey, when Beryn cam at eve, 
Was set ojjpon a purpose to make his son leve." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Was. JVAAS. (also waz.) 

" And rid so forth talkyng; a soft esy pase, 
Homward to his plase ther that Kame was." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 
" Thus they talkid to eche othir tyl they com into the plase, 
And wer yentrid in the hall, ther the steward was." 


We. US. 

" Wherefore us ought as wel." 

Weary. WEBBY. 

" We enviroun bothe londe and se, 
With all the worlde werrijin we." 

(The Romaunt of the Rose.) 
" Wery and wet, as bestis in the rain, 
Cometh sely John, and with him cometh Alein." 

(TheHeve's Tale.) 

When. TFEAN. 

" Withouten any lenger tarying, 
A morwe whan the day began to spring." 

" Doth to the ladies whan the from him wente, 
But shortly for to telle is min entente." 

(The Canterhury Tales.) 
" Whan that the time shall be." 

(The Coke's Tale of Gamelyn.) 

Where. JFHEB. 

' ' Wher as this lady romed to and fro. 
And with that sight hire beautie hurt him so." 

(Tlie Knighte's Tale.) 

While. TVHILES. 

" Whils that I here stoud." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Wm. JFOL. (or wul.) 

"And after wol I tell of our viage, 
And all the remenant of our pilgrimage." 

(The Canterhnry Tales.) 
" And thus he thoughts wel that every man, 
Wol helpe himself in love, if that he can." 

"Till we be fast, and than we icol hem shewe, 
Wel may that be a proverbe of a shrewe." 

(The Wif of Bathe's Prologue.) 

Wonder. WAUNDER. 

" Of whom thou hast grete fere and ivonder, 
And dwellinge with the god of thonder." 

(The House of Fame.) 

Wore. WERED. 

" Of fustian he ivered a gipon, 
Alle besmotred with his habergeon." 

(The Canterbury Tales.) 
"Upon his hede he toe7'ed of laurer grene, 
A gerlond fresshe and lusty for to sene." 

(The Knighte's Tale.) 

Wouldest. JFUST. 

" Where me be wo o mightie God ! thou ivoste." 

Wound. WOUNDE. (wownde.) 

' ' But cruil day, so welaway the stounde. 
For whiche hem thought thei felin deth'is icounde." 

(Troilus and Creseide.) 
" And how Hipomudon in a litil stounde, 
Was dreint, and dedde, Parthenope of wound." 



" That to my foe that gave my herte a wounde, 
And namily there were none may be founde." 

(The Complaint of the BlacTce Knighte.) 

Wrestling. WRASTLING. 

" Wrastlen by veray force and veray might, 
With any yong man, were he never so wight." 

(TheMonlce's Tale.) 
"That was so doughti a champion, 
In wrastling and in fight." 

(The Coke's Tale of Gamehjn.) 
" Y cryid a ivrastling." (Ibid.) 

Yet. YIT. 

" And met nevir man ylt, that me coud tell with mowth." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale.) 

Yock. YOXETH. (Yuck, to try and swallow 

when the mouth is empty, to hiccough.) 

" He yoxeth, and he speketh thurgh the nose. 
As he were on the quakke, or on the pose." 

(TheReve's Tale.) 

You. YEW. 

" A ! Sir be yeio that man ? of yew 1 have y herd, 
Gentill Sir, doutith nat, ne be nothing aferd." 

(The Merchant's Second Tale,) 



Many ordinary English words, although not exactly 
dialectic, are much changed, and differently pronounced in 
the Cornish dialect, and as we meet with them in reading 
Cornish tales, such Avords, being in situ, often arrest the 
attention by their peculiar quaintness, and force. 

Hundreds of English words are so " handled " by the 
Cornish, that it is difficult to say whether such words 
should, or should not, be included in a Glossary. 

It may not be amiss to make a list of some of them, 
and although the catalogue could be much lengthened, the 
following may suffice. To extend it would be of no great 
use, and certainly tedious for perusal. The selection of 
words in the following list will illustrate to some extent 
the peculiarities of the dialect. 





Aant or Un.. 

. Aunt 


.. Apron 


. Wide open 


.. Apron 


. Before 


.. Aspen 


. Ease 

Arg ^ 

Anatomy . 

. Skeleton 


.. Argue 


. On end 

Argyfy ) 


. Fool 


er After 






.. Athioart 


.. Brother 


. Between 


.. Break 


.. Betwixt 


.. Brought 


.. Before 


.. Bridge 


.. Only 


.. Bots 


. Ask 


.. Lonely 


.. Am not 


.. Calling 


.. Beat 


.. Cannot 


.. Baker 


.. Captain 

Bankrout . 

.. Bankrupt 


.. Because 


.. Bill 


.. Case 


. Beak 


.. Cheeks 


. Belch 


.. China 


. Bellow 


.. Cheat 


.. Funeral 


.. Child 


. Best 


.. Children 

Betterfit . 

.. More suitable 


.. Children 

Bettermost . 

. Best 


. . Chine 


. Bellotvs 


.. Chimney 


. Belt 


.. Chimney 


. Band 


.. Chin 


. Bind 


. . Charing 


. Believe 


.. Chew 


. Bloived 


.. Choke 


. Boiling 


.. Churchtown 


. Bought 


. . Clecm 


. Bold 


.. Clasp 







. Cloth 


.. Drivel 


. Climb 


.. Dryness 


. Corner 


.. Manure 


. Coarse 


.. Mud 


.. Course 


.. Earth 


.. Crahhed 


.. Impudent 


.. Blow 


.. Empty 


.. Crop 


.. Empties 


. Cripple 


.. Father 


.. Curds 


.. Feast 

Criddle . 

. Curdle 


.. Fetlock 


. Crutch 


.. Fuhiess 


. Crumh 


.. Provide 


. Crouching 

Fine and 

.. Very 


. Curds 


.. Proper 


.. Curdle 


.. Flannel 

Cruel fine . 

.. Very fine 


.. Fling 


.. Curly 

Full drive 

.. Fast driven 


.. Quid 


.. Far 


.. Cannot 


.. For 


. . Daughter 


... Further 


.. Deal 


... Foreign 


.. Thatch 


... First 


.. Dark 


.. Ghastly 


.. Deaf 


.. Gh-oats 

Disliclout . 

.. Dishcloth 

Go abroad 

.. Dissolve 


.. Drone 

Gone poor 

.. Tainted 





Gone poor . 

.. Sour 


.. Intestines 




.. Inside 

Goodness . 

.. Fat 


.. Jaundice 


.. Gave 


.. Juice 


.. Going 


.. Keel 


. . Grease 


.. Comb (v.) 


.. Ditch 

Kep or kip 

.. Cap 


.. Great 


.. Kin 


.. Half 


.. Cover 


.. Dirj 


.. Knock 


.. HasiJ 


.. K7iew 


.. Harrow 


.. Knitter 


.. Hide 


.. Laths 


.. Shouting 


.. Flank 


.. Grasp 


.. Lap (v.) 


.. Holly 

Lash down 

. . Throw down 

Horn or hum 



.. Laurel 


.. Homely 


.. Liar 

Homward . 

.. Homeward 


.. Smear (v,) 


Sweet as honey 


.. Leeks 


.. Hang 


.. Lungs 




.. Laugh 


r However 


.. Expecting 


.. Houses 


.. Maw 


.. Himch 

Maake hum 

.. Shut 


.. Greedy 

Make horn 

.. Shut 


.. Inward 


.. Marsh 







.. Maund 

Outlander . 

. Foreigner 


.. Mother 


.. Over 


.. JFhims 

Ovvergone . 

. Exhausted 


.. Mule 


. Falm 


.. 3£eat 


. Panting 


.. Flesh 


. Many 


.. Fleshy 


. Much 


.. Munch 


. AM 


.. Emetic 


.. Parson 


.. Likeness 


. Brisk 


.. Munch 


.. Pert 


.. Musician 


. Ap2)ear 


.. Night 


.. Peas 

Nawl • 

.. Awl 


. Pith 


.. Nose 


.. Witty 


.. Nephew 


.. Pillow 


.. Needle 


.. Pennyworth 


.. Noise 


.. Pitch 


.. Neither 


.. Patch (v.) 


.. Neither 


.. Pilchard 


.. Adit 


.. Hip 


.. Ought 


. Taken root 


.. Wool 


.. Pummel 


.. Wood 


.. Tainted 


.. Ugly 


. Post 


.. Upon 

Portmantle . 

. Portmanteau 


.. Either 


. Bowels 







.. Corned 


.. Shard 


. Apprentice 


.. Shovel 


.. Prohe 


.. Skewer 


.. Handsome 


.. Slate 


... Pulse 


... Slice 

Put horn 

.. Shut 


... <S7/ce 


... PikUr 


... Sloe 


... Pretty 


... Smart 


... Rolhi 


... Soldier 


... Piemnant 


... Seals 


... Bush 


... Sand 


... Bosin 


.. Son 


... Boll 


... Sound 


... Bob 


... ^m;oow 


... Bed 


... Fainting 


... Bugged 


... S/om; 


... Bubbly 


... (Sprigs 


... Batiling 


... Courage 


... Supple 


... Spur 


... Soft 


... 6'3M?«^ (v.) 


... Sea 


... *Spi 


... Crunch 


... >S^arc/i 


... Abraded 


... Step 


... Scale 


... Hti6&M& 


... Shafts 


... Stifle 


... ^i^ote 


... ,Storc/i 


... Shillings- 


... Siar/ 







.. Auction 


.. Foot 


.. Swoon 


. . Wallowing 


.. Swooti 


.. Wasp 


.. Fainting 


. . The reason 

Sye or Zye 

.. Scythe 



.. Tow 


. Wore 


.. Plant (v.) 


. Whop 


.. Count (v.) 


. Which 


.. Attend (v.) 


. fPidow 

Thikky . 

. That 

Widdy-man . 

. Widower 


. Thought (v.) 

Widdy-woman Widow 


. Treacle 


. Window 


. Trust (v.) 


. Will you? 


. Trundle 




. Turnips 



Twiggle .. 

. Wriggle 




. Oven 




. Father 



VeetorVit .. 

. Feet 
Proper | 


Zed {Z.) 



Although some of the words contained in the follow- 
ing glossary are in use in other parts beyond Cornwall, 
yet, taken as a whole, they may be said to represent the 
provincialisms peculiar to the County. 

No doubt there are many omissions, and some words 
may be thought to scarcely deserve a place in the list. 

To know with certainty what to admit, or what to 
exclude, requires a knowledge of most of the dialects of 
the Kingdom, but the simple rule, which has been followed 
here, is to include such words as are not generally spoken 
by the educated classes in Cornwall, and so are considered 
as fairly belonging to the provincial dialect of the County, 

The following is an example of words common to 
another district besides Cornwall, notwithstanding this, 
such words are also claimed as belonging to the Cornish 

Latham, in his book on the English Language, (3rd 
Ed. p. 561) alludes to English dialects not in conformity 
with the mother tongue, and says, " that among the most 
remarkable is what may be called "Little England beyond 
Wales." "In Pembrokeshire and Glamorganshire the 
language is English rather than Welsh." 


In the following list are words collected by the Eevd. 
J. Collins, and included in the "Transactions" of the 
Philological Society, No. 93. (see Latham.) The following 
is a selection compared with Cornish provincial words. 




Angleditch, or .. 

. Earthworm. 



. Iron stand for a pot or 


Cloam or Clome.. 

. Earthenware. 



. To stick together. 

Dreshel .. 


. A flail. 

Eddish .. 


. Corn stubble. 


Evil, Eval or .. 

. A three-pronged dung fork 



. To tumble. 

Hamrach . . 


. Straw horse-collar. 

Nesseltrip .. 

. Nessel-bird 

. The smallest pig in a lit- 
ter ; in Cornwall, the 
youngest in a family. 


. Ovvice 

. Eaves of a building. 



. Lively, brisk. 


. Quat 

. To press down, to flatten. 


. Airymouse 

. The bat. 


. Suant 

. Regular, in order. 


. Want 

. A mole. 

Weest .. 

. Wisht 

. Lonely, desolate. 


These resemblances between words in South West 
\Yales, and Cornwall, point to the inter-communication 
by sea, because, in journeying by land, the traveller passes 
through districts in which such words are not used. 

The writer, being a native of central Cornwall, will 
be found to have spelt many words which are not exactly 
so pronounced in other parts of the County ; it has been 
explained how the Cornish dialect varies between the 
Tamar and the Land's End, yet it is hoped that the 
spelling and the meanings are not very different from 
what we find in other. districts. There are various ways 
of spelling provincial words, and as each writer is guided 
by his hearing the spelling of a great many of them must 
be phonetic. 

Young Cornish people appear to be unaware how 
rapidly their language is altering because of so much more 
travelling and intercourse, therefore it may be of some 
interest, if not use to collect all the provincial words 
w^hich the writer can remember, or glean from other 
scources ; without so doing it would be impossible that a 
glossary could ever be completed or rendered useful. 

Like two colours, the Miner's dialect and that of the 
Husbandman shade off into each other; this shading is 
more or less intensified in difi"erent places, and the dia- 
lectic words are being continually scattered, or intermingled 
by the constant movements of the Cornish population. 

^Yestern people coming eastwards, and Eastern people 
going westwards, must therefore keep up a continual 
interchange of Western and Eastern dialect. 


For the sake of simplicity and uniformity, the writer 
has made this attempt to compile one glossary for the 
whole County. 

He is convinced that such a method, if it can be 
perfected, will be found to be more useful and practical, 
notwithstanding the wide difference in dialect between the 
extreme ends of the County. 

The names and authorities, so far as they can be 
ascertained, are given in the reference table at the end of 
the glossary. 

Wherever words are quoted they are signified by 
initials or names to each of them. 

The rest of the glossary not so initialed consists of 
words known to the writer. 

A large number of Rabelaisque words could be added 
but for obvious reasons they are entirely omitted. 




Abear. To bear. (In Spenser.) Always used nega- 
tively in the Cornish dialect as, "I caan't ahear te 
do et." 

Abroad. Wide open, as, "the door is abroad," also, 
mistaken, as, " he's all abroad there." 

Addle -pooL A cess-pool. In Celtic Cornish it is 
ato.l, refuse, waste; and^o/, a pond, a pool, stagnant 
Avater, a miry place, mire, mud, slime ; a well, a pit. 

Adventurer. A shareholder. As in a mine, &c. 

Afered. Afraid. 

" Of Ms visage children were sore afered" Chaucer. 
" Were thou afered of her eye ? " Gov:er. 

Afty or Aafty, Arter or Aarter. Various forms 

of the name Arthur. 
Agar. Ugly. This is a Celtic Cornish word and spelt 

hage.'i\ meaning ugly, deformed, rough, foul, evil, 

naughty, fierce, cruel. 

Agate. "All agate," i.e., full of expectation, all eye 
and ear, on the (^i vive. 

Agist, Aginst, or Agin. Against. (Ageins. Chaucer.) 
Aglets. The berries of the hawthorn (haws); also 

called aglen and aivglen. Craicegus oxyacantha. 
Agnail. A whitlow; from Ange-nail, i.e., pain-nail. 
Ailer, or Heller. See Eaihr. 
Airy-mouse. The bat. The boys call to it thus, 

" Airymouse ! Airymouse ! fly over my head, 
And you shall have a crust of bread, 
And when I brew, and when I bake, 
You shall have a piece of my wedding cake." 

(Couch's History of Polperro.) 

Aitch-piece. The catch or tongue of a buckle, m.a.c. 

Ake. A groove in a stone for a rope or iron band, 
secured so as to be used as an anchor. W.N. 

Aketha ! Forsooth ! u.J.t. 

Alley. The allis shad. Alosa vulgaris. C. 

Alleys. Boys best marbles of white stone, or of china. 
Used mostly as taws. 

Allsanders. Called sUt or sheet by boys who made 
squirts of the stems. Smyrnium ohisatrum. C. 

AmenutS. Almonds. U.J.T. 

AmpaSSy, also Passy. Terms meaning et ccetera, 

Anan P or NanP "What? ^Y\xat do you say? Nan 

is also used in Kent. 

Anatomy. A skeleton. See 'Natomy. 

AncsU. A steelj-ard. The Cornishman. 

Anek. " Crying anek." This crying of anik is a harvest 
ceremony, probably of very great antiquity. The 
a is pronounced like a in mate; the accent is very 
strong on nek. There are some variations in "crying 
an^k." This is how the writer remembers it : 

The reaper, with his reaping hook, (it was thought a shame 
to cut wheat with any other tool) having cut a last handful of 
wheat, held and waved it high over his head, as with a loud 
and joyful voice he cried, 

" I have et, I have et, I have et," 
on which the other harvesters standing around shouted, 

"What have'e?, Whathave'e?, Whathave'e? 
and then arose the triumphant cry, 

Anek, Anek, Anek.— Hooraa ! 

Lhuyd (Archoeologia) says, Anaic (Irish) means 

"save (thou) me," It would seem that when a 

Cornishman cries Anek, an6k, an^k — Hooraa ! " its 

equivalent in English is 

Saved, saved, saved — Hurrah ! 

A full account of this ceremony is given in E. Hunt's 
"Romances of the West of England." 

Angallish. Gallows-like. Vicious. 

Angleditch. Earthworm. Also called Angle-twitch, 

and Angle-touch. Carew calls it Tag-worm. 
In Devonshire it is Angle-dog, and Angle-twitch. 
(Angdtwecca. Ang. Saxon.) 


Anker. A small cask or keg of about four gallons, 
used for brandy. 

The ankers which contained smuggled brandy used to be 
cut in two, and so, many of the Cornish provided themselves 
with tubs. "Free-traders"* imported their "moonshine" 
in such ankars when the nights were dark. 

See Moonshine. 

Anointed. Used thus, "you anointed vellan," i.e., 

"you confounded rascal." 
Antic. A good humoured fool. " Such an antic." 
Anyst, or Anist. Close by, near to. 
Appledrane. A wasp. CdUngton. 

Apple -bird. A chaffinch. Polwhele. 

Appurtenances. See Purtens. 

Apsen. The aspen tree. 

Apty-COCk. A sharp little fellow. 7F. Briton. 

Ardar. A plough. This is a Celtic Cornish word, in 

which language we have Den ardar, a ploughman. 
Arear ! Oh, strange ! Wonderful ! from the Celtic 

Cornish Bed, meaning the same. 
Arg, or Agyfy. To argue, to dispute. 
Arrant. An errand. (Arande. Chaucer.) 

Arrant boy. An errand boy. 
Arrish. Stubble land after the corn has been cut. 

Errish in Devon, Ersh in Sussex. 
Arrish-geese. Stubble fed geese. 

* Smugglers. 


Arrish-mOW. A round pile of corn sheaves, about 
ten feet high ending with a cone, crowned by a 
single sheaf. Raised in the fields for fear of rain 
before the corn is carried. 

Arry. Any. Arry wawn. i.e., any-one. 

A-sam. Partly open, as of a door. "The door's 

Ascrode. Astride. C. 

Ass. This animal has several names in Cornwall, viz : 
Ass, Donkey, Jackass, Neddy, Negger, Dicky; Moguz 
and Peter Moguz, in Callington ; King, in Redruth. 
Asen and Rounsa.n are Celtic Cornish for ass. 

Ass-neger. A silly fellow, a fool, u.J.T, 

Brewer, in his "Dicty. of Phrase and Fable," 
spells it assinego, and calls it a Portuguese word. 

"Thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows; 
an assinego may tutor thee." 

Troilus and Cressida. 

Atal. (Pronounced aitle.) Mine rubbish, refuse, or 
waste. A Celtic Cornish word. It has even been 
said that this is a Phoenician word. 

Atal Sarazin. The offcasts of the Saracens, old 
works supposed to have been worked by them. 

Keigwin, quoted by Pryce in Ms Cornish 
English Vocabulary. 

Atween. Between. " Right atween the two." 
" Her loose long yellow locks, like golden wire, 
Sprinkled with perl, and perliug flowr's atween." Spenser. 

Audit. An adit. Carew. 

Aunt or Un. These words are often used instead 
of Mrs. — in speaking of an aged Cornishwoman, 
even though not related to the speaker. See Uncle. 

Avise. Advise. " I caan't avise et." The same word 
is in Chaucer. 

"Of warre and of battaile be was full avise." 

P, Langloft's Chron. 

Aw ! Oh ! Aw ! Jimmery ! Oh ! Gemini ! 

Awner's 'Count. At the expense of the "adven- 

Ax. Ask. " Ax en," i.e., Ask him. 

Axed out. Having had the banns called in church. 


Aye facks ! Yes faith ! yes indeed ! see, I'facks, &c. 

Azue. When a cow is dry, that is, ceases to yield 
milk, she is said to be "azue," or "gone to zue." 
The Celtic Cornish for dry, is zeh. 

Bace. Prisoner's bace (or base.) A game so called. 
It is an ancient pastime mentioned in the records of 
Edward 3rd. (1327 to 1377.) Toone. 

" So ran they all as they had been at bace, 
They being chased, that did others chase." 

Spenser's Fairy Queen. 
" The country base." Shakspere in Cymheline. 

Babby-rags. Small bits. c.f. 


Back-1 ouster. An itinerant fish-dealer who carries 

the fish in a caical, or basket, on the back. See 
Cowal and Jowder- MouselwU. 
Backlet, or Backside. The yard, or court behind 
a house. 

Backsyfore, or Backsyforsy. The hind part 

Bagganet. Bayonet. 
Bal. Amine. Celtic Cornish hcdas, to dig, to delve, 

and hal, a pick, a mattock, a shovel. 
Bal. Loud talking or chattering, "Hould tha bal, 
dew," " Hould yer bal," i.e., Do cease talking, hold 
your tongue. 
Bal. To thump or thrash any one, " Gibb'n a good 

balin," " Bal'en well." 
Balin. (Pronounced bah-lin.) A thrashing. Also, 
crying or blubbering, 

" What be'ee balin about ? " 
Beo.l, bealo, Saxon, meaning, misery, misfortune, 
and in Celtic Cornish, bal, a plague, or pestilence. 

"The one side must have bale." 

Shakspere in Coriolanus. 
Also poison, as 

"For light she hated as the deadly bale." 

Spense7-'s Fairy Queen. 

Bal-maid, Bal-girl, Bal-maiden. A girl who 

works on the surface at a mine. 
Balch. A stout bit of cord, a rope. 
Bal-dag. To bespatter with mine slime. M.A.C. 


Balk. Timber squared as imported. 

Balscat. A cross patch, a termagant. 

Balshag. A very shaggy flannel used in mines. 

Ball-eyed. Wall-eyed. 

Ballymuck. An ill constructed thing, as a "bally- 
muck of a dock." The Comishman. 

Bally-rag. Violent or coarse abuse. 

Bandeleer. A wooden toy like a thin flat reel, moved 
by a string to wind and unwind. M.A.C. 

Banes, Beans. 

Banger, or Banging. Big, very large. 

Banister. The baluster of a staircase. 

Bankers. Seat cushions. 

Bannel. The plant known as broom. In Celtic Cornish 
it is hanal and hanatliel. Cytisus Scoparius. 

Bare-ridged. " Biding bare-ridged," i.e., riding with- 
out a saddle. 

Bargain. A contract for certain work in a mine, 
claywork, &c. 

Barker. A whetstone. C. 

Barker's knee. Hunt, in his "Romances of the 
west of England," says that the fairies called buccas, 
or knockers, once left all their tools on Barker's knee. 
The knee was so injured that it continued stiflF ever 
after. "As stifi'as Barker's knee" became a proverb. 
Who Barker was is not stated. 


Barm or Burm. Yeast. It is hurm in Celtic Cornish, 
and herme in Chaucer. 

*' And sometimes makes the drink to bear no harm" 

Shakspere in the Midsummer Niglifs Dream. 

Barragon, or Barracan. Fustian. h.r.c. 

Barrow. A sepulchral mound. 

Barwell, or Barvii. A fisherman's leathern apron. 
W.P. by W.N. 
In Celtic Cornish, barvas, means a cod-fish. 

Basting. A beating or thrashing. "Thee'lt git a 
putty basting." JBaston (Spanish) a stick. 

Basting. A kind of light or loose sewing, or stitching. 

"In the swete sesou that lefe is, 
With a thred basting my slevis." 

Chaucer's Romaunt of the Rose, 

Bawk. A shy, as of a horse; clumsiness, as "he made 
a bawk (muddle) of it " ; a jeer, as " he made a 
bawk at me"; hindrance, objection, as "he's sure to 
make a bawk about it." 

Bazzom. Blue, purple. 

Bazzomy. Bluish, purplish. Mostly used of the skin, 
face, and especially the lips. 

Beagle, or Bagle. A troublesome person. "Beagle 
it"! or " Ad beagle it " ! i.e., "bother it." m.a.c. 

Beam or Bine. A band, a binder, as of a rope of 
straw, hay, &c. 

Bean. A withy band. c. 



Bee-butt. A bee-hive. Butt, a beehive, is a Celtic 
Cornish word. 

Bee-skip. A bee-hive. M.A.C. 

BQQ-skih ? Skiber is Celtic Cornish for, a large room. 
Beat, or Bete. Turf cut and dried, for burning at 

home, or in the fields. 
Beat burrows. Heaps of dry turf collected for 

burning on the open ground. Also used of the 

burrows Avhen burnt. 
Beat-burning. The firing of dried turf for the sake 

of the ashes as manure. Bete (Saxon) to make fires. 

" To bete fires," Chaucer. 

Beauty. Used as a term of contempt, thus, "that 

beauty ! " or thus, " you'm a putty beauty ! " 
Becker. A species of bream. c. 
Bed-ale. Christening or lying in ale. Polwhele. 

Bedman. A sexton, c. 

Bedh is Celtic Cornish for, a grave. 

Bedoled. Overdone by grief or pain — see Dowlin. 

Bed-tye. A feather bed — see Tye. 

Bedwaddled, or Betwattled. Bewildered, con- 
fused. W.T.A.P. 

Beety. To mend fishing nets. 

Beheemed. Sickly, m.a.c. 

Bell-metal. A brass pot or crock used for boiling 
fruits for preserves or jams. 


Belly-tember. Grood and solid food. 

Belvin. Blubbering, weeping aloud ; also, howling, as, 
" Belvin (or howling) like Tregagle." 

Bender. A big thing, as, " What a bender ! " also a 
great lie, as, "that's a bender," i.e., that's a "thun- 
dering " lie. 

Berrin. A funeral. "How was it you wasn't to 
Betsey's berrin? It was a bootiful corps, one solid 
scab all ovver. We had a pleasant arternoon, and a 
fine rig in the evenin." Near Bodmin. W. Hicks. 

Besom. A broom; also, heath, viz., that used for 
making brooms. See Griglan or Grig. 

Beth. Be ye, or, "be'ee"; are you, or, "arre'e" ; 5e^A 
in Chaucer also. 

Bettermost. The best of anything. The upper hand, 
or advantage gained over another, as, "I got the 
bettermost of him." 

Betwattled. See Bedwaddled. 

Beverage. A weak drink, as that of the weak cider 

made from the apple cake of the cider press by 

adding water. See Pimpey. 
Bevering, or Biwering. Quivering, trembling, or 

shaking with cold. Also the peculiar quivering of 

an infant's under jaw when yawning. 

Bezibd. " It is not allotted me." R.H. 

" 'Tis not bezib'd," i.e., fortuned. Carew, 

Bib. A small fish ■ a blind. M.A.C. 

Biddix. A double digging tool, one end pointed, the 
other flattened. 

Bilders. Heradlum spJioncUlmm. Cut as fodder for 
pigs. Couch (Hist, of Polperro) thinks that this 
name, in other parts of Cornwall, is applied to the 
poisonous hemlock, water-drop-wort. JEnanihe. 

Billis, Billez, Billees. Bellows; {belous, Chaucer.) 

Bishop. The fish Coitus scorpius. c. 

Biscan. A finger glove of leather, used by the harvest 
women, particularly in support of a wounded finger. 

This is a Celtic Cornish word, and is also written 
bcsgan and vesMn. (Bis, a finger, and Bisgan, a 
thimble. Fryce.) See Veskin. 

Biskey, BiskeyS. Biscuit, biscuits. 

Bits. Scraps of beef, liver, &c., sold by the lump 
as " bits " for a " false roast," or a fry. This name 
is also given to a green tender herb resembling 
spinach and used for pies, or, as "greens." 

Bitter-weed. An unruly, mischievous person; 
" She's a bitter weed." 

Blaad, Vlaad, or Flaad. See Blawed. 

Blackhead. A boil. Furunculus. 

Black-jack. Sulphuret of Zinc. Blende. 

Black-strap. f^in and treacle; Bad wine for poor 
and lowly guests. J.W. 

Black tin. Tin ore fit for the smelting or blowing 

Black- wine toddy. Port wine negus. 

Black-worm. The black beetle of the kitchen, &c. 

Blamed, or Blame. " Well, I'm blamed ef I knaw." 
"Blame me ef I doan't." (The word blowed is also 
used thus.) It seems a mild form of swearing. 

Blast. A sudden inflammation of an eye. " A blast 
in the eye." 

Blawed. Quite out of breath. 

Blawed. Also, Blaad, Vlaad, and Flaad. Terms 

used of cows which have eaten too largely of grass, 
causing meteorism. 

Blinch.. To catch a glimpse of C. 

Blind-buck-a-davy. Blind-man's buflf. c. 

Blind-nettle. A stiugless nettle. Galeopsis. 

Blink. A small light or flame. " There isn't a blink 
of fire. 

Blobber, or Blob. A large bubble. A vesication 
as from a blister; " all in great blobbers." 

Bloody sea-dock. The Lapatkum marinum sangui- 

neum. Borlase. 

Bloody -warriors. Wall flowers. (The red crane's 

bill. M.A.C.) 

Blood-sucker. The sea anemone. j\LA.C. 


Blooth. Blossom, (Careic); Blath, Gaelic; Blodon, 
Celtic Cornish ; Bluthe, German. 

Blowing-house. A place for melting tin. So called 
from a fire or blast perpetually kept by a large bellows 
turned by a water wheel. 

Blowing tin. Melting tin ore in the blo-wang-house. 

BlOWSer. One employed in a seine boat, in the 
pilchard fishery. 

Blubber. A large jelly-fish. Sting-blubber. 

Blue-poll. A kind of salmon. c. 

Board-em. An old fashioned round game of cards. 
The players may be from two to eight persons. M.A.c. 

Bob. The great beam of a mine pumping engine. 

Bobbery. A fuss, a row, an uproar. 

Bobble. A pebble. C. 

A ground swell of the sea. M.A.C. 
Bobble. To bob up and down. 
Boilin, or Boailin. "The whole boilin," i.e., the 

whole lot of them. The whole "crew." 

Bock. See Bawk. 

Boist, or Busthious. See Boostis. 

Bolt. A stone-built drain. M.A.C. 

Bon-crab. The female of the edible crab. Platy- 
carcbms imgums. c. 


Boo, or Booey. A louse. " oil ! another great booey !" 
In Celtic Cornish hoaivhoe. Pryce. 

Boobish. Lubberly, Carew. In Celtic Cornish, hoha, 
a blockhead, a booby. 

Boobus, Booba, or Boobun. A wick for a small 
lamp. Newlyn. 

Booley, or Bulley. A boy's very large marble. 

BoOSterin. Hard and hot work. "'Tes boosterin 
work," i.e., "a sweating job." In Celtic Cornish, hoys 
means heavy, weighty. 

BoOStis, or BoistOUS. Fat, corpulent. In Celtic 
Cornish hoys means meat, food, "He is getting quite 

Boozy. Intoxicated. "Always boozy." Boos, Celtic 

Cornish, to drink to excess. 
Boryer. A borer, an iron bar with a wedged shaped 

end, for boring holes in rocks for the powder in 

Boss. The master or manager. CalUngton. 

Boots and Shoes. The columbine. c. 

The flowers of monkshood. Aconitum napeUus. 
Botany bay. The Hydrangea. 
Botham. A wheal, or lump caused by a blow. 

Bothem. Fever-few. The herb so called. 

Bottom-pie. Potatoes and pork baked on a thick 
layer of dough. w.N. 

Bottoms. Valleys, old stream works, stents. 

Boulter. A long fishing line, with short branches 
and many hooks. Careiv. 

Bounds. Tin bounds are parcels of land marked out 
by small pits, about a foot deep and wide, at the 
angles of the ground. Straight lines from pit to pit 
fix the boundary. 

Bounders. The holders of tin bounds. 

Bowerly. Good-looking, handsome. "Eve's a fine, 
bowerly maid." 3frs. Parvus Adam & Eve. 

BoWgie or Bougie. A sheep's house, or shed for 
cattle. M.A.c. 

The Celtic Cornish word is hondi, and Lhuyd gives 
boudzi deves, a sheep-fold. Boudi was anciently bouti 
from the old word bou, a cow, and ti or iy a house. 

Bowings. The large joints, especially the knees. "I've 
got such pains in my bowings." 

Bowjouler. A place in a fishing boat for hauling 

the footline through. W.F.P. 
Bowldacious. Brazen, impudent, "you bowldacious 

Boxing Harry. A commercial room phrase, used 

of one who shirked the cost of dining with his fellows 

at the inn. Doing so was " boxing Harry." A term 

also used elsewhere. 

Boys' love. The herb Southernwood, also called by 
the very proper name " Maidens' delight." 


Braave. First rate, very well, capital. This is a 
very representative word in tlie Cornish dialect. 
" He's gittin on braave," i.e., very well How be'ee 1 
'■' Braave thenk'ee," and so on. Spenser used the 
word brave for what is not only valiant and good, but 
fine and spruce. 

Braa set-up. A row, a fuss. 

Brace. The mouth of a shaft. W.N. 

Braggashans. Bragging, u.j.t. 

Braggety. IMottled. Often used of the skin of a 

baby's limbs, " See what braggety legs he's got." 
Br aging. Raging. m.A.c. A corruption of raging, 

or perhaps, from hridzlian or bredion, Celtic Cornish, 

to boil. 
Brandis. An iron triangular stand with three short 

legs for resting the crock, kettle, &c., on, over the fire. 
Brash. An eruption on the skin. 
Breach. Coarse, furzy, and heathy ground on which 

the turf has been cut and burnt. Tonkin. 

Breachy. Brackish, saltish. 
Breedy. To make a fishing net. 
Breeming, or Briming. A phosphorescent shining, 

or sparkling of the sea at night, when agitated by 

steam-paddles, &c. Briming, Couch. Briny, Carew. 
Breez, or Browse. Small-coal, broken wood-fuel, 

and such-like. In Celtic Cornish broivsian, means 

crumbs, fragments ; and brosij to destroy. 
Breal, or Breel. A mackerel. B.v, 


Bren, or Br end. To frown, to wrinkle the brow. 
Brik, or Brek. A break, a rent. Brike, Chaucer. 
Brink. The gill of a fish. W. Noye. 

Briny. See Breeming. 

Brit. Small fish, about half the length of a sprat., or Breithal. A mackerel. Also a name for 

a trout. It is a Celtic Cornish word. From lyrUh, 

mottled. Brilli, mackerel. 
Broil. The back of a lode. "The lode has its top 

covered over with a parcel of loose (more or less 

mineral) stones and earth this in Cornwall 

we call the broil of the lode." Borlase's Natl. Hist. 
Brood. Impurities mixed with ore. M.A.c. 
Broom-Swike. A twig of heath broom. 
Brose of het. Very hot, perspiring copiously. "I'm 

in a brose of het." See Bulderin. 
Broth, or Brath. The Cornish say, "I'll have afeio 


Browse, or Bruss. A thicket. See Breez. 

Brown-wort. Fig-wort. Scroplmlaria vodosa. 
Browthy. A term for light and spongy bread. M.A.C. 

Brythall. A trout. h.r.c. See Brithil. 

Bubble and squeak. Cold potatoes and cabbage, 
mixed, chopped, and fried. Elsewhere the same 
phrase is used for cold boiled meat and greens fried. 
The meat hnhhkd in the boiler, and sqneaked in the 
frying pan. Brewer. 


Buck. A kind of minute fungus ? infesting ill-kept 
dairies. It is called " the buck " and the dairy con- 
tents become spoilt by it. Buchar is Celtic Cornish 
for, bucked milk, sour milk. Pryce. 

Also a name given to the spittle fly. m.a.c. 

Bucking. Breaking up the ore into small pieces. 

Buckle to. To set about anything in earnest. 

Buckle up to. To defy or "show fight," also, to 

Bucha, or Bucca, and Bucha-boo. A ghost, hob- 
goblin, or scare-crow. Bucca is a Celtic Cornish word 
for ghost. 

Buck-horn. Whiting salted and dried. c. (Buch- 
thorn. M.A.C.) 

Bucky-how. A boy's game resembling " touch tim- 
ber." M.A.C. 

Buddie A mining term. It is "a pit seven feet long," 
three wide, and two deep, for washing the ore in. 
Borlase. In Celtic Cornish huclchl, to buddle, to 
drown. Pryce. 

Buddie. A bubble. 

Buddling. Washing ore. 

Bud-picker. A bullfinch, Pohchele. 

Buffiehead. A thickhead, a fool. "Yew gashly 

Bulderin. Hot and perspiring. (Boldering, lowering 
weather. Polwhele.J 

Bulgranack. The pool, or bull toad in sea rock 

pools. H.K.C. 

Bulk-headed fool. Said of one "who is always 

rnnning liis head against a wall." H.R.C. 
Bulgranade. Stickleback. M.A.C. 
Bulhorn. A snail. This is a Celtic Cornish word. 

Bulk. See Bunch. 

Bulk or Eelk. To belch ; (Bidl:, to toss as by the 
horns of a cow.) M.A.C. Also see Bulking. 

Bulking. Piling up pilchards in regular order against 
the walls of a cellar ; with salt between each layer. 

Bulley. See Booley. 

Bullum. The fruit of the bullace shrub. (Bolas tree, 
Chaucer.) Primvs insititia. 

Bultys. See Boulter. 

Bum. A bloAv. This is a Celtic Cornish word. To 
bum. " I bunwied my head right against the door. 

Bumfoozle. To humbug, to mystify. 

Bunch. A mass of ore in a lode. 

Bunch. To butt at, or toss with the horns, as with a 
ram, or a cow. Children playing and running " head 
on," cry out, " I'll bunch'ee, I'll bunch'ee." 

Bunchy. A lode is so called when the ore is irregularly 
distributed in it. 

Bunken, or Bumpkin. A piece of iron projecting 
from the bow of a boat, to which the jil) is fastened. 

Bunker headed. "Bunker headed fools." Givinear. 


Built. The concavity of a sail, or of a fishing net. 
Bunting. Sifting flour. 

Burm. The Celtic Cornish word for, barm, or yeast. 
Bum. "A burn of hake." 21 hakes. Jlousehule. Also, 

a pile of furze, a rick of hay. 
Burranet. The shell-drake. M.A.C. 
Burrow. See Barrow. 

Bush. An apparatus formed of two hoops at right 

angles, covered with white calico ; used for signalling 

the position of a school of pilchards. 
Bushing corn. Beating out corn into a barrel by 

threshing bunches of it against the side of the barrel. 

No flail is used. 

Busken or Busk. The "breast bone" of an old- 
fashioned stays. Formerly of wood, or whalebone, 
about two feet long, and two inches wide ! 

Busker. An " out and out " fisherman who dares all 

Busthious. See Boostis. 

Buss. A yearling calf still sucking. c. 

Bussa calf. A calf which in time weans itself. Pol- 

Bussa-head, or Buzza-head. A thick-head, an 

empty fool. From the Celtic Cornish Buzza a pan. 

A poor bmln-pun. 


Busy. What demands all ones time, or energy. Thus, 
It will busy all the time, i.e., take all the time. "It 
will busy all he can rise to pay it." "It will busy all 
he can do to finish it in time." Bysy is a Celtic 
Cornish word and means, diligent; and hesy, needful. 

But. Buttock of beef. 

But. To sprain, or put out of joint. 

But-gap. A hedge of pitched turf. Polwhele. 

Butt. A two-wheeled cart. This is a Celtic Cornish 
word still used in Devon and Cornwall. 

Butter and Eggs. The double yellow daffodils. 

Butter-dock. Burdock. Arctium lappa. 

Butty. A comrade, a " chum." W.T.A.P. 

Buzz a, or Bussa. A coarse earthenware pan, or jar. 

Buzzy, or BuSSy milk. First milk after the cow 
has calved. 

Caaled. Called or cryed by the town cryer. 

Cab. A mess, anything wet, sticky, or dirty. 

Cab-a-rOUSe. This is in seamen's language, to pull 
together at a cable shouting and singing. (A gall 

or callous. H.R.c.) See Caperhouse. 

Cabby. Wet, or sticky and dirty. 

Cabbed, Cabbed up, Cabbled, or Cabagled. 

Terms us(h1 of anything which has been messed or 
dirtied by handling, &c. 


Cabobble. To mystify, to deceive. "T'ull uiver do 
for'ee to try to cabobble Uncle Zibedee." Mrs. Parrs 
Adam & Eve. 

Caboolen stones, (w.f.p. cand b.v.) See Min- 

Caddie. To do household work in an untidy and 
irregular manner. 

Caddler. One who "caddies about the house," i.e., 
working but messing. 

Cader. A small frame of wood on which a fisherman 
keeps his line. Fohchele. (Cantor, Penzance, m.a.c.) 
Caff. Refuse of any kind, rubbishy stuff. 
Cage. A set, as " a cage of teeth." 
Cagged. Annoyed, vexed. 

Cag Mag. Tough old geese ; food which none can 
relish. (Gaelic and Welsh, cag magu. Breiver.) In 
Celtic Cornish cagal means rubbish, dirt, Borlase. 

Cake. A fool, a poor thing. "A regular cake." 
Brewer derives it from the Greek word halcos, bad. 

Cal. Tungstate of Iron. 

Calcar. The lesser weaver, or sting fish. The lance 
fish. Sennen. h.r.c. 

Call-out. To have the banns called in Church, u.j.t. 

Calve's snout. The snap-dragon. Antirrhinum minus. 

Cam or Cand. Flour spar. 
Camels. Chamomile flowers. 
Canker. The Celtic Cornish name for a crab-fish. It 

also means the rust in corn. (Kankar. Borlase.) 
Cannis. To toss about carelessly. c. 
Cant. A fall. Polwhele. "A amt of a way," i.e., a 

long way. w.N. 

Capel or Cockle. Shorl. 

Caper-longer. The razor shell fish. Tonldn. The 
shell ^^\\ jnnna hujens. C. 

Cappen, or Capp'n. Captain, or head man of a 
mine, claywork, &c. Grass-capp'n is the term used 
for one who is manager "at grass," i.e., on the surface. 

Caperhouse, or CaprOUSe. Uproar, row, con- 
fusion; a "kick up," a "jolly row." 

Carbona, or Carbonas. An accumulation of rich 

ore in a mine, a "house" of ore. 
Care. The mountain ash. Pyrus auaqxtria. c. 
Cam or Cairn. A heap of stones. A sepulchral 

mound of stones. A rock. Cam is Celtic Cornish. 
Carney. To wheedle, to keep caressing, and calling 

another cava, (dear). Breicer. 
Carrots. Nickname for a person with red hair. 
Casabully. Winter cress. Fohchck. 

Casling. Prematurely born, a castling. 
Cat-lap. Derisive term for insipid fluid drink. 


Catch up. To lighten np, as of a fire ; to dry up, as 
of clothes, &c. Also thus, "catching" (changeable) 

Catin-the-pan. " He turned cat in the pan," i.e., he 
proved himself a traitor. Also a play of head over 

heels round a bar while still holding on. 

Cats and dogs. The catkins of the willow. 

Cauch. A mess. This is a Celtic Cornish word for 
ordure, manure, dung. 

Cauchy. Messy, dirty, sloppy. 

Caudle. A mess, a muddle. 

Caudler. One who messes and muddles. An impro- 
vident person ; a foolish spendthrift. 

Caulk. A "drop" of liquor. "I've had a bit of a 
caulk but not a drop more." 3Irs. Fans Adam & Eve. 

Caunter. A. cross-handed blo-sv. 

Cawed. A sheep affected with the rot, c. 

Chackin, or Chackt. Very thirsty, very dry in tlie 
throat." " I'm chackin with thirst." 

Chacks. The cheeks. " I'll scat your chacks, that I 
will, you gashly great bufflehead." 

Chad. A small fish like a bream. 

Chad. "To put a cliacl," i.e., a turn of a rope in the 
horse's mouth. /. H. NanUvell. 


Chakky Chesse. The fruit of the common mallow. 

c. See Cheeses. 

Chall. A cowhouse. 

Champion lode. Principal or leading lode. 

Chamy. (Pronounced Chah-me). The profile of a 
toothless person, when it falls in at the mouth, gives 
the appearance called chamy. 

Chape. The catch of anything, as of a buckle, or the 

hook of a scabbard. The tip of a scabbard. 
Chaunt or Chaunty. To scold, to mutter, to prate. 


Cheel or Cheeld. Child. Cheldern. Children. 

Cheel-vean. Little child. Often used as a term of 
endearment. Vean, Celtic Cornish for little. 

Cheeldin. In labour with child, also pregnant. " The 
chihling autumn," i.e., the pregnant autumn. 

Shalxsperc in the Midsummer Night's Dream. 
(Chylded. Brought forth.) Spenser. 
Cheens or Cheins. The loins, the small of the back; 
cheim is Celtic Cornish for back. 

Cheening. Sprouting in the dark, as of potatoes in a 
dark cellar. 

Cherk or Chark. A cinder, a piece of charcoal. 

Chirk, Callhujton. 

Cheeses. Seed vessels of the mallow. Chuck-cheeses. 
(Chukky-cheeses. f.c.) 


Cheese et. Stop it, i.e., Dont go on quarrelling so. 


Chet. A newly born cat. This is a Celtic Cornish 
word. Kittens horn in May used to be drowned, 
that month being thought unhealthy and unlucky. 
" May chets bad luck begets." 

Cheevy. Thin, miserable looking. m.a.c. 

Chewidden day. " (Jeu-ivhydn, Cornish.) White 
Thursday. That is one clear week before Christmas 
day, it being the day on which black tin or ore was 
first turned into white tin, or metal." u.j.t. 

Chick. To crouch down. To " chicky down." (The 
sitting cestrum in hens. c.) 

Chicker. The wheatear. Polwhcle. Also chick-chack. 

( Chick-chacker. m.a.c.) 

ChifF-chaff. The white-throat. Sylvia hippolais. 

Childermas day. Innocents' day. 
Chill. A small earthenware lamp. Anciently in use. 
Chimbley. A chimney. Shimbla in Celtic Cornish. 
Chipper. The cross-bill. m.a.c. 

Chitter. Thin. Chitter-face. The face thin 

and furrowed. c. 
Chitterlings. The shirt frills of former days. M.A.C. 
Chives. A kind of small onions, called also, chive 

garlic. Ogilvie. Used cut up to flavour broth. 

Allium shcenop-asum. 


Chiwels. Another name for chives. Q.v. See 


Chivvy. A row, an uproar, a fuss. 
Chod. A stew. A " stodge." Q.v. 

Choog, or Choogy. A pig. Choogy-pig. A 

little pig. 

Choog-Choog-Choog. A cry inviting the pigs to 
meals. (Chee-ah. Bottrell.) 

Choust. A cheat. To choust, to cheat. 

Chorus. A carouse, a feast. 

Chorusing. Feasting. " A grand choru.siug." 
Croicst is Celtic Cornish, for luncheon. 

Chores. Household jobs. " A few chores." 
Chowter. Fish dealer. See Jowder. 
Chuck. The fat beneath the chin, the " double chin," 
so called. " He is very big about the chuck." 

Chuck. The throat or swallow. 

Chuck-children. The allis shad. C. (Choke- 
children.) So called because the fish is full of bones. 

Chuck-sheep. A term of offence, and contempt. 

" Ah ! you old chuck-sheep." 

Chucklehead. A booby. 

Church-ale. " A feast in commemoration of the 
dedication of a church." 


Church-town. (Pronounced ch'town.) A hamlet, a 
village, or a town near tlie cliurcli; even a city, 
tlius, "Lunnun ch'town." 

Cider-pound. Cider-press. 

Cives. A species of very small leek, growing in tufts, 

used like chives for flavouring broth. 
Clabby. Wet and sticky. See Cabby. 
Clack. Much noise, a great deal of talking. " Hould 

your clack, do." See Clap. 
Clacker. A woman's tongue, a rattle, a pump valve. 

"The clacker of a mill," i.e., the noise and rattle of 

it. " Your tongue goes like the clacker of a mill." 

See Clap. 
Clain, or Clain-oflf. Very well, perfectly, quite. 

"A ait et clain-awf," i.e., he ait the whole of it. 

"A ded that clain-awf," i.e., he did that perfectly. 
"Let's hew his limbs 'till they be dean consumed." 

Shalspere in Titus Andronicus, 

Clam. A tree, or plank used as a bridge across a 

stream. Pohchele. The star fish Asierias glacialis. C. 
Clammed. Out of health. Fohvhele. Half-starved, 

as, "Better clam than go to the Union." Brewer. 

Clamdere is Celtic Cornish for to faint away, to swoon. 
Clap. Prating. "Hould yer clap." It is a Celtic 

Cornish word. 
Clappin. Throbbing, as in pain. See Loppin. 
Church-hay. The churchyard, or close. 


Clavel. The impost on a square headed window, door, 
or chiuine3\ c. 

Clay dues. The holder of a china clay sett pays from 
3/- to 3/6 per ton on clay sent or sold out of the 
Avorks, as dues to the land-owner. 

Clay maidens. Girls employed in china-clay works, 
generally as "scrapers." They remove the outside 
sand, &c., from the dried clay. See Clay pans. 

Clay pans. Shallow places from 50 to 80 feet square 
and about IS inches deep. The floors being covered 
with sand, the semi-fluid clay from the " clay pit " is 
poured or pumped into them, so as to filter off" and 
evaporate the water, until the clay is firm enough to 
be cut out in square blocks, to be further dried in the 
sun. The process is now generally superseded by the 
Dry. Q.v. 

Clay pit. A large water-tight pit, about 8 feet deep 
and from 40 to 80 feet square. The china clay held 
suspended in water is allowed to deposit in such a 
pit, the clear water running away. See Clay pans. 

Clay sett. A portion of land containing a bed of 
"clay," (i.e., granite in a decomposed soft form) 
marked out for raising, washing, or preparing china 
or porcelain clay. 

Clay stopes. The place, or pit where the decomposed 
granite is dug up and "washed" so as to separate the 
sand and mica from the pure porcelain or china clay. 


Clays, or Clayers. Boys marbles made of brown 
clay fired. 

Clecky. See Cloppy. 

Clem, or Clember. To climb, or mount up, " clem 
op,'"' i.e., climb up. 

Clem, or Clemmin. Very thirsty. See Chackin. 

Clems. Fish and potatoes fried together. M.A.c. 

Clemmed. Simply adhering, as plate glass to plate 
glass, or as do the leaves of a new book. Weve 
anything like gum, &c., put between, then things 
would be said to be digged, or clibbed together. See 
Clibby and Cliggy. "Clemmed" is a term also 
used of a period in the cestnivi of dogs. 

Clever. Very well, doing very well, in good health. 
"How are you?" "Clever thank'ee." "How are 
you getting on ? " " Clever shore nufF." 

Clibby, or Cliggy. Anything wet, sticky or adhesive, 
as entrails, wet untanned skins, gum, tar, treacle, 
birdlime, &c. "My fingers are clibbed (or digged 
together." Clyhye is a Celtic Cornish word and means, 
to wet, or moisten. Glyhye, or glihhie, is also Celtic 
Cornish, and means the same as clyhje. 

Click. A sharp c^uick blow. See Clip. 

Click-handed, or Clicky-handed. Left-handed. 

From the Celtic Cornish word cledhec, left-handed. 
Clickpaw or Clicky-paw. Left-handed. 

Cliders. See Clyders. 

Clidgy. Same as Clibby or Cliggy. Sticky. 
Clidgy. Sugar stick. Toffy. 

Clink. A town or parish blackhole for tramps and 

The word clinh is old and known outside Cornwall. 
The writer when a boy knew no other name for a 
blackhole. CUnh is giving place to the term "the 
lock up." The derivation is obscure. Dr. Johnson 
says " dink is perhaps softened from clank, or corrup- 
ted from click." 

Clicket (in old French cUqiict) means a key, or instru- 
ment to open a door. 

" Save he himself for the smale wicket 
He bare alway of a silver clicket.'" 

Chaucer's MerclianVs Tale. 

Compare clink with the Latin dingo, to encompass. 
(In Fcstus, Mindiew.) 

Clip or Click. A fillip, or light quick blow. "I'll 
giv'ee a clip in the ear." Also, a short, snappish way 
of speaking, as, " She's very clip." 

Clip. To turn the earth for a crop. 

Clisty. See Clusty. 

Clitter. A clatter, a confused noise, a fuss. 

Cloam, or Clome. Earthenware. This word is also 

used in Pembrokeshire, &c. 
Cloamin. JNIade of " cloam." q.y. A stupid person 

is called " a cloamin fellow." 


CloameiS. Boys' clay marbles. See ClayS. 
Clob. A lump of earth, or clay. Also Cob. Q-V. ; 

Coarse clay and straw mixed, for building a coh wall. 
Clobbed. Begrimed. Dirty clothes, ol- utensils are 

said to be "clobbed with dirt." 
Clobbed up. Choked, as thus of a man's pipe stem, 

" it is clobbed up." 
Clock. The crop, or maw. 
Clodgy. Sticky like pitch, or birdlime. 
Clop, or Cloppy. To walk lame, to limp along. 
Cloppy. Lame. In Celtic Cornish cloppec and dof 

mean, lame, crippled. (Kloppeh Borlase.) 

Clopper. One who halts, or limps in walking. "A 
blinker and a clopper were never caught in a good 
trick." A hard old saying. 

Clopping. Walking lame. "Cloi^ping along." 

Close. Eeticent, reserved. "He is always very close." 

Clouching. Without character, not to be believed. 

St. Buryan. 
Clout. A blow, a slap. "I'll giv'ee a clout under the 
ear." This is a Celtic Cornish word. 

Cluck, Clucky, Clucky down. To lower the body 
to a very stooping posture ; sitting on the heels and 
bending the neck very much, is a posture comparable 
to that of a barn door fowl, "clucking," i.e., sitting 
flat down with the head lowered. Lhuyd gives 


KeliocJc as Celtic Cornish for a cod:, a name probably 
originating from the sound dnk Avhich the bird makes. 
(Clutty. w.F.P.) 
Clubbish. Rough and brutal in manner. 

Clum. Benumbed with cold. " My hands are clum 

with the cold." 
Clump. An extra sole to a boot, or shoe. 

Clunk, To swallow. This is a Celtic Cornish word. 

(Khink. Borlasc.) 
Clunker. The "swallow," or fauces. The uvula. 

Clushy in. To draw nearer together, as in sitting on 
a form. To nestle closer together. (Clouch, gathered 
together. Spenser.) 

Clusty, or Clisty. Close grained, or "heavy," as 
" clusty potatoes." 

Cluit. A. hurdle of rods wattled together. Polwhele. 
A crate, a wattled gate. JFilHams. It is Celtic 

Clut. "A gap in a hedge. To fall with a chit, i.e., to 
fall in a heap." M.A.c. (Clut in Celtic Cornish, a 

Clutchy. sticky. The same as Clodgy. Q.v. 

Clyders, or Clythers. The rough bed-straw. Galmm 
ajxir'me. c. In Celtic Cornish Gledh means chick- 
weed. (Clivers, cleavers, goose-grass. H.ii.c. 

Clyne. A sea bird's feast. M. Dunn, Mevagisscy. 


Co. This curious -word has opposite meanings according 
to its use, as " Go at once, co." "Come at once, co," 
Co is a Celtic Cornish word and means the memory, 
remembrance ; also cof, and Jco. 

Coady. Sheep with diseased livers are coady. Stratton. 

Coanse, Cawnse, or Scoanes. The stones, or 

pavement. U.J.T. 

Coanse-Way. A paved path-way. 

Cob. A thump, a blow. Also the top locks of a 
horse's mane. (Welsh coh or cop, a tuft.) 

Cob. A mixture of coarse brown clayey earth, and 
straw, for building a coh wall. 

Cobba. A simpleton. M.A.C. Cobbe. A bungler. 
R.H. (A cobbler. Dryden.) 

Cobber. A bruiser of tin. 

Cobbing. Breaking up the ore into small pieces with 
a "cobbing hammer." Also, a thrashing, as "He 
deserves a good cobbing." In Celtic Cornish dlw coh, 
to break, or bruise. 

Cob-nuts. Hazel nuts. Also, a game so called played 
with nuts. (Cock-haw. Polichele.) 

Cobshans. Money or savings. U.J.T, 

Cockle. Capel or Caple. Schorl. 

Cockle up. To buckle, or curl up. 

Cockle up to. To confront in a defiant manner. 

Cockle-bells, or Cockle-buttons. The burrs of 

the Burdock. Arctium lappa. Icicles are called 

Cock-a-hoop. Full of hope and intent. "All cock-a- 

Cock haw. A boy's game with hazel nuts. 
Cock-hedge. A thorn hedge trimmed. M.A.C. 
Cockly-bread. "To make cockly-bread," i.e., to turn 

head over heels in bed. M.A.C. 
Cocky. Pert and conceited. 

Codgers' end. Shoemakers' wax ends. (Coajer'.s- 
end, cobler's-wax. u.J.T. 

Codgy wax, Cobler's wax. 

Codnor. " Cognomen for stewing." T.w.s. 

Coffins. Old surface mining excavations, often opened 
into by mining up from below, E.N. 
(Koffen. " The hollow of an open mine." JFhitaker.) 
In Celtic Cornish cofar means a chest, a coifer; 
Welch, cof, a hollow trunk; Armoric, ai/cr ; Irish 
cofra. JFilliams. 

Coining tin. " The large blocks of tin being brought 
to a coinage town, the officers appointed by the Duke 
of Cornwall, assayed it by taking ofl' a piece of one 
of the under corners of the block of about a pound 
weight, partly by cutting, and partly by breaking; 


and if well purified, stamped the face of the block 
with the impression of the seal of the Duchy." This 
was "coining" the tin, after which it became "mer- 
chandable," and not before. Borlase. 

Cold, roste. This expression has been used by one 
of our earliest Avriters in this way. "A beggarie 
little town of cold roste." Is this last the sense in 
which it is used in connection with the scan pilchard 
fishery? The Cornishman, 1881. 

Colp. A thump, a cuff*. (A short rope used for carry- 
ing sheaves. M.A.C.) 

Colpas. A prop to a lever. M.A.C.) 

Collaring or Collar. The top boarding of a mine 

CoUoping. A good thrashing or beating. 

Collybran. Summer lightning. The smut in corn. 
Uredo segetiim, a blight in corn. In Celtic Cornish 
colbran, lightning. 

Collywobbles. Rumbling and flatulence inside the 
body. Borborygmi. 

Come-by-chance. Anything obtained fortuituously. 

Come-upping. A flogging, ji.a.c. 
Comfortable. Agreeable, obliging. " A very •'' cow- 
fortable man." 

Comical-tempered. Cross, ill-tempered. 
CondidcLle. To diddle, cheat, or impose upon. 


CondudleS. Childish, stupid notions. 
Conger-douce. Conger split, and dried without salt. 

Confloption. A great flurry. 

Conkerbell, Cockabell, or Cockerbell. An 


Continny. To continue. "Yew was always a booti- 
ful buoy (boy) my dear, and so yew still continnies. 

Near Bodmin. 
Cooche-handed. Left-handed. Stratton. 
Cooler or Cool. A large salting tub. 

Coom (or Coomb.) A valley. Borlase's Celtic Cornish 

Copperfinch. The chaffinch. 

Cop. The tuft on a fowl's head. In Welsh cob or 
coj^, a tuft. 

Coppies. Fowls with a tuft of feathers on each of 
their heads are so named. 

Core, or Coor. Eight hours work. Three cores in 
the twenty four hours. 

Coose. "Ill coose," i.e., of course, provided that. 

Coot. A thump. A Celtic Cornish word. Cootin. 
A thrashing. 

Coranting. Frisking, jumping about, gambolling. 

Corn-crake. The^land-rail. 


Cornish diamonds. Crystals of quartz, "of a fine 
clear water but some are yellow, brown, cloudy, opake, 
white, green, purple, black. The black is very rare, 
and called by Linnaeus nitrum quartzosum nigrum, or 
"Morion." Borlase's Natural History. 

Cornish organ. The bellows. 

Cornish pies. These are A'arious, toothsome, and 
wholesome. Some are peculiar. It is a moot c^uestion 
which is the better, a Cornish pie or a Cornish pasty. 
Here is a list of a few pies : — * 


Squab pie. 


Nattlin pie. 


Fishy pie. 


Muggety pie. 


Star-gazing pie. 


Likkey pie. 


Conger pie. 


Tetty pie. 


Parsley pie. 


Giblet pie. 


Herby pie. 


Taddago pie. 


Lamb-y pie. 


Bottom pie. 


Piggy pie. 


Sour-sab pie, &c. 

They say that the Devil would not venture into 
Cornwall, fearing that the Cornish might put Jiim 
into a pie. They use pepper instead. 

Cornish. "To Cornish together," i.e., several persons 
to use only one glass like "a loving cup." 

Cornish hair. The rough wool of ancient Cornish 
sheep. Carew. 

» The composition of these pies is given, for the most part, in 
this Glossary. 

Cornish hug. a i^owerful wrestling grip, very eflfec- 
tual if it can be made. 

Corrat. "Pert, impudent, sharp in rejoinder." "As 

corrat as Crocker's mare." East Cornwall Provb. C. 
Corrosy. An old family feud. Pohvhele. 

(Coreesy, Corrizee. m.a.c.) 

Corve. A floating crab box. Captn. H. Pdchanls, 

Prussia Cove. 
Corwich. The crab Maia squi7iado. C. 
Cos'sened, Hammered into shape and newly steeled. 


Costan. A basket for straw and brambles. iLA.c. 

Cothan. A stratum of sandy earth and small stones, 
so called by tinners " wherein the sand-tin is usually 
found about a foot and a half above the karn." 


Country. The ground itself, especially used of that 
about or near an excavation. 

Countryman's treacle. Garlic. The Hundred of 

Stratton in Queen Elizabeth's time was remarkable 
for its plenty of garlic, "the Countryman's treacle, 
says Carew, which they vent not only in Cornwall 
but in many other places." 

Cousin -jacky. A local term of contempt. 

Cover-slut. Any clothing "slipped on" to hide 
untidiness beneath. 


Cow. A windlass with a cowl shaped top to supply air 

in a mine. M.A.C. 
Cowal. A fish-basket used by fish-jowders, and carried 

on the back. This is from the Celtic Cornish cawal, 

caiiwal, or cowal, a hamper, a basket. 
Cow-flops. Wild parsnips. 
Cowl. A fish bladder. B.v. 
CoWShern, Cow-dung. 
Cowsherny. A term descriptive of the colour of the 

sea when it looks olive-green, or turbid as if coloured 

with cow-dung. c. 
Cowsy, or Coosy. To chat. This is from the Celtic 

Cornish cows or caws, to speak, or talk. Cavsen, 

(Spenser), to argue or debate. 

Coxy. See Cocky. 

Crake, or Craak. To croak, to quaver in speaking, 
or singing. Crahe and cralel are Chaucer's words. 

Craake. A croaker, a querulous, fretting person. 
" She's a regular craake." 

Craakin. Always fretting and complaining, also con- 
tinual and melancholy chatter. " Te's wisht to hear 
her craakin hour by hour." 

Craaky. Hoarse, and shaky. Used of the voice. 

Cracky. Half mad. "Flighty." 

Crame. To creep. "To crame down." In Celtic 
Cornish cramia means to creep, and cramyas, creeping. 


Cram. A "white" lie. "That's a cram," i.e., that's a 

likely story. Also, to crumple, as "Don't cram it." 
Crammer. A big lie. " What a crammer ! " 
Cran. "A cran of herrings," i.e., 800 herrings. 
Cravel. " A wood cravel in a chimney." ( 1 ) 
Crawn. A dried sheep's skin. Davy, Zennor. 

Crease. The ridge tiles of a roof. 
Creem or Crim. A creeping, trembling, shuddering 

feeling, as from fear. Also a shiver, as from cold. 
Creem. To squeeze, crush, or press. 
Creeming. Shivering with cold, shaking with fear. 

" I'm creeming all over." 
Creener. A fretful complaining person. 
Creening. Complaining, fretting, as if "bad all over." 

" She's always creening," i.e., always talking about 

her ailments. 
Crellas. British hut circles. "An excavation in a 

bank, roofed over to serve for an outhouse." Bottrall. 

Cresser. A small fish resembling a bream, but more 

red. H.A.C. 
Creeved. Underdone. M.A.c. In Celtic Cornish criv 

means crude, raw. Pryce. 

Crib. A small meal, or lunch. " I've just had a crib." 

A crust of bread. Cribs. Fragments of food. 
Cribber. A pilferer; a small eater. "He's but a 


Cribbage face. A thin wrinkled face. 
Cricks. Di"y hedge wood. Polichele. 

Cricket. A low three legged stool. 
Crickly. Frail, rickety. 

Cricklin. Breaking down from overweight, also, stoop- 
ing in walking. " Cricklin along." 

Cripse. To craze, or injure the edges of anything 
brittle, as of glass or china. 

Crim. A crumb. A little bit of anything. 

Crissy-CrOSSy. Criss-cross. 

Crock. A three legged iron pot used in cooking. 

Crogen. A shell. It is a Celtic Cornish word. (Crog- 
ijans limpet shells. M.A.c.) 

Cromlech. (pi'o. krom'lek.) A term applied to 
ancient Celtic constructions consisting of a large flat 
stone supported on three or more other stones set on 
end. Once supposed to be altars but now judged to 
be ancient British tombs. This is a Celtic word 
derived from lek, a flat stone, and krum, crooked, and 
according to Borlase, Cromlech means literally, a crook- 
ed flat rock, or stone. 

Crooks. Great wooden hooks used saddle fashion on 
horses, donkeys, and mules, for carrying goods. Also 
called pannier-crooks. 

CrOOm. A small bit, a short time. " Give us a 
croom." "Wait a croom." 

Croony. Foolish, imbecile. 

Cropin, or Cropeing. Stingy, miserly, like "an 

old hunks." 
CrOUging. Crouching, shuffling, " Crouging along." 

Crow, or CrOU. A hut, a hovel, a sty. This is a 

Celtic Cornish word. 
Crowd. " A wooden hoop covered with sheep skin 

used for taking up corn." Davy, Zennor. 

Crowd. A fiddle. Crowder. A fiddler. 

Crowdy. To play the fiddle. Crowd and Crotvder 
are Celtic Cornish words. 

CrOWSt or CrOUSe. A luncheon, a feed. This is a 

Celtic Cornish word. (Croust. Pnjcc). 
Crowning. An inquest. 

Crow-sheaf. The crown or topmost sheaf of an 
arrish mow. 

Cruddy, Crudded, or Cruddled. Curdled. 

Cruel shaape. "in a cruel shaape," i.e., in a 
terrible mess. 

Crulley-head. Curleyhead. (CruU,cwv\ei\, Chaucer.) 
Krijllia.:, curled, in Celtic Cornish. 

Crum. Crooked, bent, curved. This is a Celtic Cornish 
word. It also means chilled, or cramped, as "my 
hands are amm with the cold." 

Crum-a-grackle. Perplexity, bother, "Here's a 
pretty crum-a-grackle." St. Just. T.C. 


Crummet. A very little bit. A crumb. 

Crumpling. A wrinkled apple. 

Crunk. To croak like a raven. F.C. 

Cuckhold dock. The Burdock. Arctium majus. 
(Cuckle dock. C.) 

Cuckoo, or Guckoo spit. A frothy little mass like 

spittle, seen on bushes, as on furze, rosemary, &c. 

Caused by an insect to be found in the middle of it. 

(The Cicadia spumaria. c.) 
Cud. A quid of Tobacco. 

Cuckoo, or Guckoo flowers. Wild hj-acinths. 
Cudgelling. A game at fencing with stout sticks, or 

cudgels. The man "who first "brought blood" was 

declared the victor. 
Cue. An ox-shoe. An iron heel for a boot, or shoe. 
Culch. Oj-ster spat. c. 

Culiack. A good-for-nothing person. Davy, Zennor. 
Culver-hound. The lesser spotted dog-fish. c, 

Cunner pots. See Weelys. 

Cuny. Mildewed. M.A.c. 

Curl. A carol, as sung at Christmas. In Celtic Cornish 
Karol, a choir, a song. 

Curls. Glands. "The curls (i.e. glands) of the neck." 

Custis. A battle-door or nearly circular shaped flat 

piece of hard wood, with a handle about ten inches 


long, used at school to slap the boys hands, &c. The 
punishment itself was also called "the custis," or 
" having the custis." 
Cuttit. Sharp in reply. Pert, impudent, C. 

Cyphers. See Sives, or Chives. (Clpeolon). 

Daark, or Derk. Blind. " Th'ould man es daark 

an 'most totelin" i.e., the old man is blind and nearly 

Dab. A thump, a blow, as " Gibb'n a dab" ; also a 

thrust, as " he dabbed it right in my eye" ; also a 

lump of anything, as "a dab of butter" ; also a clever, 

or skilful person, as " he's quite a dab at it." 
Dabbety fay ! An exclamation meaning, " Give us 

faith. H.R.C. 
DafFer. Crockery ware, as the tea things, &c. Polwhele. 
Dag. An axe used by miners. (A hatchet. CaUington). 
Daggens. Sprinkled heavily, showing a good crop ; 

something plentiful. T.W.s. Also, Daggins, lots. 
Daggin. Longing to do a thing, ready for it; as, "He's 

daggin for it." Also draggling; weighted down (i.e. 

daggin) with fruit. 
Daggin. Draggling. " Daggin in the mud." 
Dame-ku. A jack snipe. ii.ii.B. 
Dandy-go-russet. Term used of faded clothing; 

also, an ancient wig which has done good service. 
Dane. "Ked headed Dane" a sneering term. M.A.C. 

See Carrots. 


Daps or DopS. Likeness, or image of. "The very 

daiDS. " 
Dash-an-darras. The dram, or "stirrup cup" for 

the parting guest. Pohchele. 

Datch. Thatch. 

Datcher. A thatcher. '* This is the weather for ducks 

and datchers." 
Dawered. Faded, looking old and worn. 
Day-berry. Wild gooseberry. M.A.C. 
Deads. Rubble or loose rubbish and broken stones 

in a mine, and containing no metal. Borlase. 

Dealsey, or Delseed. A fir cone. m.a.c. 
Deaf, or Defe nettle. See Blind-nettle. 

Deef, Defe, or Deve. Hollow, decayed, as a "deef" 

nut. It is also used thus in the North of England. 

There is a term also, " defe as a haddock," meaning, 

very deaf. 
Delbord. The nurse hound. Squalus canicula. N.E.c. 
Denneck, or Redanneck. Piper, or Ellick, names 

applied to a species of tub fish. W.F.P. 

Derry. " A putty derry." " Kicking up a putty 
derry." In Celtic Cornish demij means a deed, an 

Devil. An aval. q.v. 

Devil's bit, or Devil's button. Blue scabious. 


Dew-snail. A slug. Limax agrestis. 

Dido. A row a fuss. " Kicking up a putty dido." 


Dicky. One of the names for an ass. Used also in 
Yorkshire. See AsS. Also, a sham bosom, or 
" false-front " to a shirt. A half shirt. 

Dijey. A small farm, or homestead. Bottrall. 

Dig. To scratch, as when itching. " Don't dig your 
head like that." Also, a blow,or poke, as with the 
elbow. "A dig in the ribs." 

Dinky. Tiny, very small, a mere mite. 

Dinged. Reiterated. " He dinged it into my ears 
from morning to night." 

Dilly-dally. To do anything in a slow, lazy manner. 

Dinyan. A little corner, m.a.c. 

Dippa. A small pit. A mining term. A Celtic 
Cornish word. 

Dippers. In the catching of pilchards the boats 
which attend for the purpose of conveying the fish 
from the tuck-net to the shore are termed dippers. 

Dr. Paris. 

Dish. A gallon of black tin. Carew. Also, the land- 
lord's share in the produce of a mine. 

Dishwasher. The wagtail. 

Disle, or Dicel. The thistle, especially the "Milky 
dicel " (so called by boys) for feeding rabbits. (SoncJms 
oleraceus. c.) 


Doat figs. Broad-figs. u.j.t. 

Dob, or Dab. To throw, or fiing. As, " he dobbed a 
great stone at nie." 

Dobbet. A short, stumpy little person. 

Dock. The crupper of a saddle. Also used in Devon- 

Docy. Pretty, charming, or neat in person. " A docy 
little maid." " She is very docy." 

Dogga. The dog-fish. Acanthius vulgaris. c. 

Doggetin along. Plodding along in walking. A 
"dog trot" pace. 

Dogg along. To drag along. 

Doggie. To totter in walking, as does a child, " dogglin 

Dole. Mine dues. A lot of ore. 

Doldrums. In low spirits, " In the doldrums." 

Dollop. A lump of anything, thus, " a dollop of fat." 

Dollymop. A vulgar flirt. 

Dollymoppin. Flirting with the girls. 

Dooda. A stupid person. M.A.c. 

Doodle. To diddle, to cheat. 

Dormant. Melancholly, sad, gloomy. "A dormant 
house," i.e., a gloomy house. " Feeling dormant," i.e., 
melancholly or sad. Used in the same sense as 
loisht. q.v. 

Dorymouse. The dormouse. 

Dossity. Spirit, activity. C. (A corruption of Auda- 
city). 'Dacity. 

Dot-and-gO-one. A term used of a lame person. 
Skittering, sliddering, stapping, straking; stumping, 
stanking, and fooching along ; craming, and clopping, 
like a douching ould totle, goes thickky-there poor 
ould "dot-and-go-one." 

Douse. To throw a thing down violently. To lower, 
as, "douse the sail." To thrash, or beat, as, "give 
him a good dousing." To pay, as, " come douse out 
your money." To throw water over anyone, " to give 
him a dousing." 

Douse, or Doust. A blow, or thump. 

Dousse, or Doust. The husks of winnowed corn. 
Poor people used it to stuff their pillows and bed-ties. 

Doust. To pelt. As in throwing stones at one. 

Douster. A fall, " a regler douster." 

Doustin. A thrashing. 

Dover. An uproar, a row, a great fuss. " There's 
dover," or, "There's dover to pay." 

Dow. A cross old woman. Gwinear. T.c. 

Dowl, Dool, or Dolley. To toll a large bell. 

Dowlin pain. A dull, persistent pain. 

Down-danted. Depressed in spirits. Discouraged, 
" down in the mouth." 


Down SOUCe. A sudden fall of anything, as, "down 
it came souce." Also, as in speaking very plainly, " I 
told him down souce." 

Dowser. One who uses the dowsing rod. 

Dowsing-rod. A forked branch of hazel used for 
discovering a mineral lode. Now laughed at as 
useless, and dowsing considered as silly and super- 
stitious. Divining rod. 

Drabbit ! Drat it! " Aw ! Drabbit the ole scrubbin." 
Mrs. Parr's Adam & Eve. 

Draft, or Draff. Brewers' grains. Used as food for 
pigs. Chaucer uses the word draf, meaning "things 
thrown away as unfit for man's food." 

Dram. A swathe of cut corn. Bottrall. 

Drang. A narrow place^ passage, trench, gutter, or 

Dranged up. See Dringed up. 

Drash. To thrash as of corn, to thump or beat. To 
dash a thing violently down. Also, to shut or open 
violently. " He drashed open the door." 

Drashel. A flail. 

Drasher. A thrasher of corn. (In Celtic Cornish it 
is drushier ; or drusher. Borlase.) 

Drashin. Thrashing corn. Also beating, or flogging. 

Draw-bucket. A bucket with a rope to draw water 
up a well. 

Draxel, or Drexel. The thresliold. (Drcdstool. 

Drazac, or Drazackin. Slow, stupid, dull. 

Dredge corn. A mixed crop of barley, oats and 
wheat, c. 

Dredge wheat. A bearded wheat, used to be sown 
in coarse land. Tonkin. 

Dredgy ore. Inferior mineral. Borlase. 

Dreshel. See Drashel. 

Dressel, or Dresshel. See Draxel. 

Dribbs, or Driflfs. Small quantities of anything. 

Drift. A trench cut in the ground resembling a 
channel dug to convey water to a mill-wheel. 

Drilsy. A low, murmuring, and monotonous sound, 

or hum, 
Dring. A crush of people, " a regular dring." Also, 

a narrow place. See Drang. 

Dringed up. Crowded up together. Generally used 
of people in a crowded room, or vehicle. Soiled, as 
with dirt at the bottom of a dress. 

Dripshan. Mother's milk. Spirits. M.A.C, 

Driving nets. Nets drawn after the boats, fastened 
only at one end, in the meshes of which fish are 
caught as they try to pass through. 

Droke. A wrinkle, a furrow, a passage. M.A.c. 


Droll-teller. An itinerant story-teller, news-monger, 
and fiddler, who travelled from town to town, and 
village to village. There were two such in Cornwall 
as late as 1829. H. 

Droolin. Drivelling, as with an infant, or an idiot. 

Droozenhead. A stupid, dull person. 

Droozlin. Stupid, dull, mournful. (In Celtic Cornish 
dreuesy means mournful, lamentable. Prijce.) 

Drover. A fishing boat used in taking fish with a 
driving net. Usually called driving boat. 

Druckshar. A small solid wheel. M.A.C. 

Drug. To drag, as "drug the Avheel." The word 
drugge is used by Chaucer for drag. 

Druggister. A druggist. Now elegantly called "A 

pharmaceutical chemist." 
Drule, or Drool. Drivel. 
Drumblin. Stupid, obtuse. 

Drum. To flog. Drumming. Flogging. "Gibb'n 

a good drumming." 

Drusy. I^i niost veins (lodes) there is a central line 

or fissure formed by the close apposition and 

occasional union of two crystallized or as they may 
be called, drimj surfaces. Br. Paris. 

Dry. The name given to a long, low building, (from 
100 to 150 feet long), with a tall chimney at one end 
and a coal-burning furnace at the other. There are 


flues beneath the tiled floor. On the hot floor the 
semi-liquid china clay is dried and rendered fit for 
shipment. This mode of drying Clay has been used 
about 20 or 30 years. 

Dryer. A dram or " nip " of spirit after drinking 
beer. " We had fower pints of beer, and haaf a 
noggin of rum for a dryer." J. T. Tregellas. 

Duffan. " An egotistical hypocrite." " A regular 

Duifed. Struck. E.N. 

Duffy. An outspoken person. Bottrall. 

Dug. A push, a thrust, a poke. A " dig." 

Duggle. See Doggie. 

Dule. Comfort. Carew. 

Dull of hearing. "Hard of hearing." 

Dum-dolly. A mishapen marble. M.A.C. 

DummetS, or Dimmets. Twilight. "Between the 
two lights." 

Dumbledory, Dumbledore, Dumbledrone, 
D rumble drain, and Dumbledrane. Difter- 

ent names for a drone. (In Celtic Cornish drane 
means "a thorne, a bryer, a bramble." Pryce.) 

Dungin'. Manuring. Dunged. IManured. Messed 
or dirtied. "I'll have ivy graw oal roun' the tower," 
says the passon. " And so you shall, my dear," says 


the churchwarden ; and when the passon was gone he 
beginned to put some in ; a Trura man looked in and 
seed un, and thoft he was dungiii the tower to maake 
un graw." J. T. Tregellas. 

Durgy or Dourgy. A short, stout person. M.A.C. 
It is a Celtic Cornish word and also means a small 
turf hedge. Pryce. 

Durk, or Dark. Blind. 

Dum. The door post. The side post of a door or 
gate. Dorn, Celtic Cornish, the door post. 

Duty. The estimated work done by a mine steam- 
engine. The amount of duty is registered and issued 
on "duty papers." 

Dwalder. To speak tediously and confusedly. C. 

Dwaling. A dreamy, sleepy manner of muttering. 
It is often said of a sick person that he has been 
" dwaling all night." Angl. Sax. divelian. (Divale, a 
sleeping draught. Chaucer.) 

Ear-bosoms or Ear-busses, The glands of the 

throat. When swollen it is said, "My ear-bosoms 
are down." The orifices behind the gills of a conger. 

Ear-buzz, or Ear-buzzer. The spinning, or brown 
Cock-chafer. The Oakwebb. Boys make the insect 
spin or " buzz " by putting a pin in its tail. 

Ear-wig. A millipede kind of insect. It is an old 
belief in Cornwall, that if an earwig crept into the 
ear, deafness would be caused. 

Easement. Relief. (Esement, Chaucer.) 


Easy. Feeble minded. Silly. 

Eaving. See Heaving. 

Edge on. To egg on, to incite. 

Eggy-hot, or Egg-hot. Hot beer with eggs, and 
sugar beaten up. Sometimes flavoured with rum. 

Ekky-mowl. The titmouse. 

Elbow-crookin. Tippling. 

Elbow grease. Work or labour in doing a thing 
well. "Give it more elbow grease." 

Elecompanie. A tomtit. PolwheU. 

Element. The atmosphere, the sky. 

EUeck. The gurnard. Trigla cuculus. c. See lUek. 

Emmut. In the eye of the wind, i.e., in the emmut 
(or brunt) of it. Polwhcle. 

Empidenter. More impudent. "He's moar empi- 
denter then I caan suffer." 

Ena, mena, out. A row of children stood facing 
another child, and the latter, pointing to each in 
succession, said these words in an ordinary voice, 
except the word " out," which was shouted. 
" Ena, mena, mona, mite, 
Bascalora, bora, bite, 
Hugga, bucca, bau ; 
Eggs, butter, cheese, bread. 
Stick, stock, stone dead,— Out." 


The moment " out " was said, the one on whom this 
word fell had to quit the row ; and so seriatim, 
repeating the above words each time. 

In West Cornwall according to m.a.c. the following 
are the words used : — 

"Ena, mena, mona, mi, 
Pasca, lara, bona, (or bora,) bi, 
Elke, belke, boh, 
Eggs, butter, cheese, bread, 
Stick, stack, stone dead." 

In the game of Blindman's Buff. 

"Among the many evidences that furnish the philologist 
with the proof that a once powerful people existed in our 
midst are those "wandeiing words" that flit through the 
atmosphere of our every-day lives. At first their indistinctness 
adds nothing to their beauty ; but, after a careful scrutiny, 
their roughness wears away, and amidst an accumulation of 
what is seemingly unreal and unsatisfactory, we begin to 
discover something that eventually will repay us for the 
labour we have bestowed upon them. There is — so to speak — 
nothing too common, nothing too mean, nothing so out of the 
everyday working of our lives, that ■R-ill not lead us to a suc- 
cessful issue. A bit of bronze, a battered flint, a broken bussa, 
a single word or expression, — each canies us back to a peiiod 
when manners, di-ess, domestic ai^phances, and the prevalence 
of a now forgotten tongue were scattered up and down our 
land ; and which differ from the England and the EngUsh in 
every essential of the present day. 

For instance, who would sui-mise that the talismanic words 
uttered by our children in their innocent games have come 
down to us very nearly as perfect as when spoken by the 
Ancient Briton; but with an opposite and widely different 
meaning ? The only degree of likeness that lies between them 
now is that where the cMld of the present day escapes a 
certain kind of juvenile punishment the retention of the word 
originally meant death in a most cruel and barbarous way. 


The couplet, as near as I can bring it to orthographical stand- 
ing, will read thus : 

" Ena, mena, bora — mi — 
Kisca, lara, mora — di." 
The force of habit is so strong in our modes of actions, — 
of seeing, hearing, and doing, — that the endless repetition of 
those seemingly childish words has taken no further hold on 
us than the generality of such nursery twaddle would. In 
this instance the case ought to be -n-idely different ; for this is 
a veritable phrase of great antiquity — " the excommunication 
of a human being, 'preparatory to that victim's death." 

The analysis of the two lines in question will show that a 
double meaning was clearly involved; the first Une laying a 
ban on the then chief articles of food, or life-producing ele- 
ments, eggs, butter, bread; the second, or judicial, line 
foreshadowing death by beating, or, as the line clearly enough 
expresses it, ''beaten to death by sticks." il/i and di are the 
old British ordinals, and stand iox first and second ; therefore, 
the twofold principle would make it appear as if the criminal 
not only suffered the deprivation at home of home comfoi-ts 
but that death followed with unerring severity." 

T.W.S. in the ' Cornishman' on ^'Wandering words." 

Engine-stack. The lofty chimney of a mine-engine 

Epiphany. A name applied in west Cornwall to the 
Cuscuta Epithymum, abundantly growing amongst the 
furze, " winding its spiral structure in all directions 
and producing from its reddish hue a beautful con- 
trast." Dr. Paris. 

Epping-stock. See Hepping-stock. 
Erish, or Errish. See Arrish. 
Ettaw. A shackle used to fixsten two chains, so as to 
make one. Mousehole. w.f.p. 


Eval, Hewal, Yewal, Yewl, or Devil. A dung- 
fork with three prongs has these different names. 

Ever, or Aiver. See Heaver. 
Eving, or Eaving. See Heaving. 
Evet, Ebbet, or Emmet. A newt. 

Fackle, or Feckle. An acute inflamation in the 
foot. M.A.C. 

Fade. (Faddy). To go. As at Helstone on Furry- 

Fade tune. The furry-song tune as played at Helstone 
on the 8th of May. The music of it is given in Dr. 
Paris's " Guide to Mount's Bay and Laud's End," p. 
222 ; in " Specimens of Cornish Provincial Dialect," 
by Uncle Jan Trenoodle, pp. 106-7-8, and also in 
other books on Cornwall. 

Fadging along. Walking along. Getting on, pros- 

Fadge. To suit, or fit. "How will it fadge?" i.e., 

how will it suit, fit, or answer. Angl. Sax. fegan. 

"I'll have thy advice and if it fadge thou shalt eat." 

Mother Bombie, 1594. 

" You see how matters fadge." The Merry Devil of Edmonton. 

Fadgy. " How do'ee fadgy 1 " i.e., how do you get on ? 

Fagot. A Cornish wrestler who has bargained not to 
win, is said to have " sold his back," and he is con- 
temptuously called a fagot. It is also a name of con- 
tempt and anger for an impudent girl, or "hussy." 
" Ah ! you fagot 1 " 

Fair-a-Mo. Pig f^-ir in November at St. Ives. M.A.c. 

Fairmaid, fumade, or fermade. Names for a 

cured (formerly smoked) pilcliard. Pilchards " when 

caught, used to be preserved by smoking," 

" therefore denominated fumadoes by the Italians to 
whom then, as now, we principally sold them, and 
which are still denominated fumadoes by the very 
populace of Cornwall, even when they are now pre- 
served by pressing." IFhitaker's ancient Cathedral of 
Cornwall, Vol. 2, pp, 248, 249. "Fumadoes were 
perhaps the gerres of Pliny." Camden. 
" They carry them " into Spayne, Italie, Venice, and 
divers places within the straytes, where they are very 
vendible, and in those partes tooke name fumades for 
that they are dried in the smoake." (Norden, A.D. 1584). 

Fair play ! Fair play ! Make a ring ! A 

favourite Cornish cry when there is a fight, or a 
strife for mastery. 

When Cornishmen fought, or cndgellecl, or wrestled, they 
did so generously, and like men, and very often for the sake of 
prowess without a sign of rancour. They did not, two, three 
or four together, fall on a single man, or, kick or strike him 
when he was down, nor did they like cowards pull out their 
knives, or revolvers, but they used the weapons (and good ones 
too) with which nature had provided them. In their quarrels 
they were rough enough, but they were not tyi^ical of the 
modem "rough," on the contrary, in their quiet moments 
there were no men more civil, and good natured. 

When the writer was a youth, it was common to sec a 
fight in the street on a market day. The constable would be 
sometimes present, apparently to keep ordei-. The men first 
shook hands, then set to, and again shook hands at the finish. 


Tlien both parties adjourned to an inn, smoked a pipe, drank 

ale, settled about the next trial in fisticuffs, and finished by 
singing a song or two to the tune of " the old hundred." 

A celebrated preacher once said that he did not see why 
the De^dl should have the best tunes, and these men thought 
conversely. Yet they were very kindly, worked hard, lived 
hard, and stood by one another like bricks in a strong wall, 
veritably like " One and all." 

Once when the writer had lost his way on a wild moor, 
late at night, one of such men rose from bed and guided him 
in safety away from the mine shafts. A reward for the trouble 
was ex-idently quite unlocked for, and it would have given of- 
fence to have pressed it. The wTiter merely records the facts as 
known to him. These Comislmien gave hard blows, and what 
is harder, they learnt how to take them. With all their 
roughness they were better men than Pecksniff, or Mawworm ; 
but times are changed, and we are changed vriih them. So 
much the better. But how much ? 

Fairy. A weasel. c. 

Falky. A long-stemmed plant. Halliwell. 

Fal-the-ral. Nonsense. 

Fallows. Risers to a cart, to make it hold more. 

Fang, or Vang. To get, to seize. (Fong, Saxon). 

FangingS, or VangingS. Earnings, winnings. 

Fantads. Eediculous notions. 

Fardle. A burtlien. Fardd, Chaucer. It is fardel in 
Celtic Cornish. 

Fare nuts. Earth nuts. Ground nuts. 

Farthing of land. Thirty acres of land. HaUiwell 

Fawt. Fault. This is a Celtic Cornish word. 


Fay. Faith. Iss fay! Yes faith ! Fay in Chaucer. 

Fey und fay are Celtic Cornish words. 
Feather-bow. The plant fever-few. 
Feather-bog. A quagmire. M.A.c. 
Feather-tye. A feather bed. 
Feebs, or FeepS. Pitch and toss. M.A.C. 
Fellon. Alveolar abscess. A cattle disease. 
Fellon-herb. Chickweed. m.a,c. Fehii is Celtic 
Cornish for wormwood. (The mouse-ear hawk weed, c.) 
Fer. Far. Fer, Chaucer. 
Fernig. See Furnig. 
Fem-webb. A small brown beetle used in fishing. 

(Fernicock. 3I.a.c.) Melorontha horticola. 
Fescue, or Vester. A pointer for teaching children 

to read. Polwhele. Vester is a Celtic Cornish word 

meaning master. 
Fetch. To reach to, arrive at, or get to ; as, " fetch it 

down," "hard work to fetch hom." 
Few. Some. Curiously used thus, "I'll have a few 

broth." Also used thus in Yorkshire. 
Figs. Raisons are so called in Cornwall. In Celtic 

Cornish, figes ledan, broadfigs; figes an houl, raisins, 
Figgyduflf. Dough, suet, and raisins, mixed and baked 

in the shape of a pasty. Also called figgy-hobbin. 
Figgy pudden. Plum pudding. Fig pudding is 

more correct than plum pudding. In Celtic Cornish 

figes an houl means figs of the sun, raisins. 


Filth. "A filth," i.e., a dirty slut. Also, a bellyfull. 

"I've had my filth." 
Fingers. The depth of a hole for blasting rock is 

measured by a miner placing his fingers against the 

borer in the hole. "There's three more fingers to 

Fire-tail. The red-start. M.A.c. 
Firk. V. To tease roughly by hand. F.c. 
Fish-fag. Female fish-dealer. A fish-wife. 
Fish-jousting. Hawking fish. 
Fitchered. Baulked. "Used by miners when some 

difficulty occurs in boring a hole for blasting." 


Fitch, Fitcher, or Fichet. A polecat. 

Fitty, or Vitty. Suitable, proper, well adapted. 

Fish-jowster, Fish-jowder, or Fish-chowter. 

Names for an itinerant fish dealer. One who carries 
a cowal of fish on the back is also called a back- 
Five-stones. A boy's game with five small stones, 
placed on the palm of the hand and then tossed up 
together a few inches high so as to be caught by a 
quick turn on the back of the same hand. He who 
thus catches the greatest number, after a series of 
such turns, wins the game. 

Flair. Pig's kidney fat. M.A.C. Flair in Celtic 
Cornish means a smell, a stink. 


Flaad. See Blawed. 

Flam. A flame. This is a Celtic Cornish Avord : 

flamhe in Chaucer. 
Flam-new. Quite new. 
Flap. A flash, "a flap of lightning." 
Flip. A fillip, or slight quick blow. 
Flaygerry. Frolicsome. 
Fleeting. Guttering of a candle. 
FlicketS, or VlicketS. Flushes, blushes. 

Flink. A pert, or insolent kind of deportment. "She's 
in one of her flinks again." 

Flip-jack. A rude fire place. m.a.c. 

Flisk. A large tooth comb. m.a.c. 

Flookan. ''(An a fair, a cut), it being a parcel of 
ground which calleth off" one part of a lode from 
another." BorJase. 

Flop. A slap. 

Flop-down. To sit, or drop suddenly down on a seat, 
or the floor. 

Flopper. An under petticoat. Folwhele. 

Flora-day. See Furry-day. 

Floor of tin. A stratum of tin ore as it lies in 
alluvial deposit. As in a stream work. 

Flosh. To flush, or well wash with water, as in wash- 
ing a courtlage. 


Flote ore. Seaweed. CareiD. 

Floury milk. Hasty pudding. See Whitepot. 

Floury. Mealy, as a floury potatoe. 

Flox. To agitate, or shake up fluid, as in a barrel 
which is partly filled. 

Flummox. To cheat, deceive, or impose upon. "Eeg- 

ularly flummoxed ! " 
Flush, or Flushed. Full fledged. 
Flushet. A stream dam. 

Fly-by-night. A silly, thoughtless, restive girl. 
Flying mare, A wrestling term. 

Foacer. There are two such, viz : liquid, and solid. 
The solid one is a good lump of plain pudding before 
cutting the joint, so as to take off the edge of a sharp 
hunger. The liquid one is a large basin of broth 
before dinner, so as to damp, or rather, whet the 
appetite of young folks. Such domestic tricks have 
been done once too often. A boy, in desj^eration at 
the sight of so much broth, when asked to say 
" grace," cried out, " Oh ! deliver us from this ocean 
of broth, and land us safely upon the little island of 
mutton ! " The following was often said, " Woll'ee 
haa a foacer, cheeld ? " 

Foacin. Pushing, striving. " Doant'ee be so foacin." 

Foathy, or Forethy. Forwards, intrusive. " She's 
very foathy." 

Pogans, or Foogans. A kind of cake. u.J.T. 
Folyer. See Volyer. 

Foot of tin. Two gallons of tin ore. Carm. 

Footway shaft. The shaft by which miners go 

down to their work in a mine. 
Foo-ty. Mincing, affected, ridiculous in manner. 

" Such footy ways" 
Fooch. Upon occasion, as, "it will do upon a fooch;" 

a pretence, "it is a poor fooch;" also, a shove, "I 

gov'n a fooch." 

Fooch. To poke in the way, as, " what arr'ee foochin 

about ] " 
Foochy. Maladroit, stupid, clumsy in method, or 


Fooching along. Pushing along, getting on toler- 
ably well. 

Fore-right. See Vore-right. 

Forrel. The cover of a book. Forel is the name of a 
kind of parchment for the cover of books. 

Forth-and-back. Shuffling and vaccinating in man- 

Fouse. To handle carelessly, or crumple. 

Fouster. To work hard, to bustle about. 

Foxy. When china-clay contains much oxide of iron, 
there is produced a reddish tint when it is burnt. 
This spoils the pure white colour, and this reddish 
tint gives to the clay the term " foxy." 

Frape. To bind tightly. "Lor ! how she es fraped in 
about the waist," i.e., tight laced. 

Frange. To spread out like a fan. M.A.C. 

Free-fish. Fish so called in contra-distinction to 
shell-fish. Carew. 

Freath. A gap in a wattled hedge. C. 
Frith. A wattled hedge or gate. Dr. Bannister. 

Frickets. See Flickets. 

Fringle. A kitchen grate. M.A.C. 

Fuggan. A pork pasty. See Hoggan. 

Full-drive. Fully driven. (Ful-drive, Chaucer). 

Fulling. That which well satisfies hunger. "And 
good fulling traade et was." 

Fulsome. Food too fat, rich, or sweet. " It is as fat 
and fulsome." Shahpere. 

Fumade. See Fairmaid. 

Furr. V. To pull the ears. " I'll furr your ears, you 

Fuzz. Furze. Gorse. 

Fuzz-chet. The stone-chatter. 

Fuzz-kite. The ring tailed kite. JLA.c. 

Fuzzy-pig. The hedge-hog. 

Fumig, Femig, or Fumiggy. To outwit, deceive, 
or cheat. 


Purry-SOng. The song of the Furry-day, for which 
consult Cornish Histories. It is noticed here because 
of the words " with Halantow, Eumbelow ! " which 
by Polwhele are written thus, " With Halantow, 
Jolly rumble 0." Sir John Stoddart in his learned 
treatise on " Grammar " in the Encyclopoedia Metro- 
politana, says, "But the old Scottish and English 
" Heve and How," and " Eumbelow," is singular 
enough to be cited : — 

" With hey and how ! rohumbelow ! 
The young folk wer full bold." 

Peblis to the Play. 

" They rowede hard, and sungge ther too, 
WithHeuelovr! and rumbeloo." 

Richard Coiur de Lion. 

" Your maryners shall synge arowe, 
Hey how ! and rumbylowe." 

Sqiiyre of loice degree. 

Furry day. A Cornish custom from time immemorial, 
is to hold a festival on the 8th of May at Helstone. 
Anciently at Penryn on the 3rd of May; at the 
Lizard, near the beginning of the century, on the 
1st of May ; and also in the parish of Sithney. 

Dreids Hist, of Cornwall. 
It is generally supposed that this was an institution 
of pagan origin, designed to celebrate the return of 

Polwhele says, that to suppose Furry to be a corrup- 
tion of Flora " is a vulgar error." " Furry is derived 
from the old Cornish word Fer, a fair or jubilee." It 


is not correct therefore to call it Flora day, it should 
be Furry day. It is sometimes called Faddy day, or 
as Whitaker spells it, Fadi day. 

Beal (Britain and the Gael) speaks of Davies as referring 
to old Briton rites, in the words of the Bards, and by a quota- 
tion from Greek poetry. " Buddy was the sea beach, and 
the circular revolution was performed by the attendance of the 
white bands in graceful extravagance, wben the assembled 
train were dancing and singing in cadence with garlands, and 
ivy branches on the brow." 

" On Ida's mountain with his mighty mother. 

Young Bacchus led the frantic train ; 
And through the echoing woods the rattling timbrels sound. 

Then the Curetes clashed their sounding arms, 

And raised with joyful voice the song, 
While the shrill pipe resounded to the praise of Cybele, 

And the gay satyrs tripped in jocund dance, &c," 

Beal says, (p. 85), "In the month of May, a memorial of 
something like this, yet lingers in an ancient Cornish town." 
Whitaker says in a letter to Polwhele, (Polwhele's Biographical 

Sketches in Cornwall, vol. 3, p. 97), "When you 

derive Furry from Per (Cornish) a fair, and now suppose the 
Fair-o of the song to confii-m your conjecture ; 1 thoroughly 

concur with you Only I never considered i^er (Cornish) 

as the word " whence (comes) the Latin Feria." 

The Latin is the original term, and the Cornish only a 
derivative from it. Per (Cornish) being the same with Foire 
(Irish) and so forming Fair-o or Furry in pronunciation. 

Gaby. A fool. 

Gad. A short, wedge-like mining tool, used with a 
hammer in splitting rock, &c. Gecln and gad are 
Celtic Cornish for a wedge. 

Gaddle. To drink greedily with haste. "She gaddled 
it up in no time." 


Gaert, or Gurt. Great. "Agaert maur o' fuzz," i.e., 
a great root or stump of furze. 

Gait, or Gate. Manner, habit, or way. w.t.A.p. 
Gate, Chaucer. " What a gate you have of doing it! " 


Gake, Gaake, or Geke. To stare about. " What 
be'ee gaakin about 1 " 

Gale. An ox. U.J.T. A childless man. Garland. 
An impotent bull. c. 

Galliganter. A hulking, big woman. ''She is a 
regular galliganter." This word, (galliganter) is from 
Galligantus, the name of " the giant who lived with 
Hocus-Pocus, the conjuror — Jack the Giant-killer 
blew the magic horn, and both the giant and conjuror 
were overthrown." 

Nursery Tale of Jack the Giant-hiller. 

Gallivanter. An incurable flirt. 

Gallivanting. "Running about with the girls." 

Gallus-rOW. "A gallow's row." (A word perhaps 
from the hanging scenes at Newgate prison). A 
great fuss, or outcry. There is a singular resemblance 
between these words and the Celtic Cornish word 
galar, sorrow, grief, lamentation; galarow in the 
plural number. Also the verb galaroiv, to weep for, 
to bewail, to lament. Galarow reminds one of the 


old word Harow ! an exclamation, (see Chaucer), or 
arowe, as in the old line, 

" Your maryners shall synge arowe^ 

Squyre of loice degree, 

Gambers. " By gambers ! " (An exclamation). 

Gambrel. A spreader for the feet of an animal 
recently killed. (The hock. C.) 

GammutS. Frolic, fun, play. "You're up to your 
gammuts again." 

Gange, or Ginge. To gauge a hook is to arm it and 
the snood with a fine brass or copper wire, twisted 
round to prevent its being bitten off by the fish. 

Garbage. The skimmings of salt, filth and congulated 
oil from pilchards, which are prepared to be put into 

Gashly. Ghastly, horrible, ugly, disagreeable. "A 
gashly wound." "A gashly looking thing." "A 
gashly temper." " You gashly bufilehead." 

Gathom. A mine spirit, or phantom. M.A.G. 

Gaully grounds. Ground full of springs of water. 


Gaupuses. Fools, idiots. "The gaupuses have sook- 
ed it all in," i.e.. The fools have believed it all. 

3Irs. Parr's Adam & Eve. 

Gaver. Crayfish. Polwhele. 

Gawk, Gawky, Gawkum, or Geek. A stupid, 

clumsy fellow." "The most notorious r/cd'." Shak- 
spere. Goky aud Gukky are Celtic Cornish words 
meaning foolish, silly, absurd. 

Gays. Child's i^laythings. M.A.C. 

Geagled. Draggled, dirtied. Geagh is Celtic Cornish 
for dirty, filthy. 

Geese or Geez. A saddle-girth. 

Geeze-dance. See Guise-dance. 

Gerrick. A whistler fish ; sea pike. (Garfish. c.) 

Giblets. Nickname for a thin, lanky, bony person. 

Gidge. " Oh ! my gidge." An exclamation. m.a.c. 

Gifts. Term used for the white spots seen on the 
finger nails. 

" A gift on the thumb is sure to come, 
A gift on the finger is sure to linger." 

Giglot. A giddy, flighty young girl, or woman. This 
is a Celtic Cornish word, and means, a foolish laugh- 
ter, a wanton girl. " Away with those giglots too." 
" A giglot wench," " a wanton giglot." Shakspere. 

Gill. A pint of black tin. Careiv. 

Ging. A whip to make a top spin. c. 

Giss, or Geist. Hemp girdle, a saddlecloth. M.A.C, 
Gru-gis or Gri-gls is Celtic Cornish for a girdle, a 


Giving. Thawing, bedewing. When stones become 
wet by change of temperature, they say " the stones 
are giving." See Heaving. 

Giz-dance, or Geez-dance. See Guise-dance. 

Applied to the Christmas play. 
Gladdy. The yellow-hammer. c. 

Glan. "The bank of a river." Pohvhele. Gldn is a 
Celtic Cornish word, meaning, the bank, the side, 
or the brink of a river. The side of anything. 

Glawer. ThQ^^hMorrlmiaminuta. n.e.c. 

Glaws. Dried cow-dung, formerly used for fuel. Tonkin. 
It should be spelt glose or gloas, which is the Celtic 
Cornish for "dried cow-dung, (used as fuel.") (^^ Ha 
glose tha leshye." And dry dung to burn. Pryce.) 

Glaze. To stare hard at anything, or person. "What 
be'ee glazin at ? " 

Glen-ader. The cast skin of an adder, sometimes 
worn as an amulet. h.r.c. Nader is Celtic Cornish 
for adder, viper, snake. 

Glidder. Glaze, or varnish, like white of egg, gum, 

Gliddery. Shiny, as the surface of a cake, or bunn 
when varnished with white of egg. Also, slippery. 

Glint. To glance at, to catch a sight of Glent, Chaucer. 

Glumps. Sulks. " He's got the glumps." " He's in 
the glumps." 

Glumpy. Sulky. (Glombe, Saxon, to look gloomy). 


Glumped up. Sitting apart in the " sulks." 

Gluthening up. Gathering into rain. " A common 
expression in ]\Ieneg." Polichele. Glutk, Glut or Glit 
is Celtic Cornish for dew, a hoar frost, a rime. 

Goad. Half a square yard of land. 

Gob. A mass of expectorated phlegm. (Gohhei, a 
morsel, a bit, Chaucer). 

Go-a-gOOding. Poor old women of Polperro " go-a- 
gooding," travelling the parish over to collect mate- 
rials for the Christmas cake, and pudding. C. 

Goal. Slow, heavy pain. "A goalin pain." In Celtic 
Cornish gelar or galar means anguish. 

Go-by-the-grOUnd. A short little person. 

God's cow. The lady-bird, (an insect). CalUngton. 

Goffans. See Coffins. 

Goggling for gapes. Looking foolishly amazed. 

Goil. Cuttle fish. (c.) Sepia officinalis. 

Golden chain. Bunches, or rather the natural rows 
of laburnum flowers. 

GoUeS. By Golles ! An exclamation. Hercules 
was worshipped by the name of Golion or Goles; 
one of the gates of a city in Spain was dedicated to 
Goles. Hence we discover the meaning of the oath 
of the common people of Cornwall. Aye and of 
gentlemen, when they say "By Golles!" i.e., "By 
Hercules." Hogg's Fah. Ilist. of CormvaU, note p. 444. 

Gommock. A fool. 


Gone poor. Decayed, tainted, turned sour. 
Gone to lie. Said of corn, or grass beaten down by 
rough weather. 

Gone round land. Dead. Gone dead. Dead. 

Good carne. Good rocks for fishing near. Tonkin. 

Goodness. The richness, or fatness in food. 

Goodspoon. A young brat. A "ne'er do well." J.w. 


Goody. To prosper, to thrive. "Its sure to goody." 

Goog. A cliff cavern. N.E.C. 

Gook. A bonnet shade like the peak of a boy's cap, 
generally blue. Also, a bend in the neck, from an 
awkward habit of leaning the head down, and thrust- 
ing the face forwards. " He's got such a gook." 

Goonhillies. A celebrated breed of small horses 
formerly bred on the Goonhilly downs in Cornwall. 
Norden, in his "Topographical and Historical des- 
cription of Cornwall," and whose survey, says the 
Editor of the edition of 1728, was probably taken in 
1584, states that, "There is a kinde of naggs bredd 
upon a mountanous and spatious peece of grounde, 
called Goon-hillye, lyinge betweene the sea coaste and 
Helston ; which are the hardeste naggs and bestes of 
travaile for their bones within this kingdome, resem- 
bling in body for quantitie, and in goodnes of mettle, 
the Galloway naggs." 

Goose-chick. A gosling. A symbol of exhaustion. 
"As weak as a goose-chick." 


Gorry, or Gurrie. A large wicker flasket with a long 
handle on each side, and carried like a sedan chair. 

Gorseddan. A place of elevation, whence it has 
been said, the Druids pronounced their decrees. 
Gorsedd is Celtic Cornish for a seat of judgment. 

GOSS. A tall reed growing in marshy places, or in 
shallow ponds. The boys used to make arrows of 

the stems. Arundo pliragmites. 

Goss. A fuss, a perplexity. M.A.C. 

Goss. Moor, or wood (cos). Dr. Bannister. 

GosS-mOOr. Great (mawr) moor (cors) ; or wood 
{cos) moor. Dr. Bannister. 

Gossawk. A lubber, a blundering fellow. "For 
loke how that a go.^hai(J:e tyreth (feeds)." Chaucer. 

Gothhomm, or GoSShomm. An expression of 
contempt, as if to say, " Go home," " Get away," 
" Get out, you fools." In Celtic Cornish Gothoam 
(Pryce), means fools. The word is curiously similar 
to gothhomm. 

Gowk, or Gook. Somewhat like a Quaker's bonnet 
in shape, with a " curtain " behind. It is of large 
size. "Worn by mine, clay-work, and country girls, 
or women. 

Gozzan, or Gossan. This is Celtic Cornish for rust, 
the rusty ochre of Iron. Also, the course, bed, 
broil, or back of a lode. Hence, "keenly gozzan," 
i.e., a pi'omising lode. 

Gozzan. An old, rusty, scratch wig. 
Grab. Very sour. 

Grafted. Coated, or loaded with dirt. "Your nails 
are grafted with dirt," 

Grail. A three-pronged fish spear. M.A.C. 
Grainy. Sour-tempered, close-fisted, proud. "A grainy 
ould chap." 

Grambler. A stony place. M.A.C. 
Grammer-sow. See Sow-pig. 
Gramfer, or Granfer. Grandfather. 
Grange. See Grunge. 

Grass. The surface at a mine, a miner's term. " Gone 
to grass," i.e., come up out of the mine. 

Graving clouds. Clouds moving contrary to the 

wind below them. A sign of storm. 
Grebe. A handful, a small portion. 
Green sauce. The dock sorrel. Eumex acetosa. See 

Sour-sauce, Sour-sabs, and Sour-sops. 
Greet. T)ry earth. 
Greet-board. The earth board of a plough. 

Greglan. See Griglan. 

Grend. A twist or kink in a chain. Mousehole. 

Grendin-Stone. Grinding stone. 
Grey. A badger. Polwhele. 

Grey-bird. The song thrush. 

Gribble. The part of the tree for grafting on. c. 
Griddlin. Sitting "hanging over" the fire, and so 

warming nose and knees together. 
Griglan, or Grig. Heath, or ling. (At St. Agnes 

heath flowers are called "browth of the griglans." h). 

Celtic Cornish words. Grig, heath; griglans, sticky 

heath. Borlase. 
Griggan. A grass-hopper. M.A.C. 
Gripe. The ditch along the foot of a hedge. 
Gripy. Greedy, stingy, miserly. 

Grishens. See Growshans. 

Grizzle. To grin. Grisla is a Celtic Cornish word, 

and means to grin like a dog, and a grisla, grinning. 

" What be'ee grizzlin at ? " " You ould grizzla." 
Grobman. A bream two thirds grown. Polwhele. 

Grock. To pull, to tweak; as to pull the hair up over 

the ears. H.K.C. 
Groot. The same as Greet. Q-V. CalUngton. 

Growan. Soft granite-like ground. Also, a name for 

granite. Celtic Cornish, grow, gravel or sand; or 

grean, gravel. 
Growder. A soft kind of decomposed granite used for 


Growts, grownds, grudgings, growshans, 

grooshans, or grishens. Terms used of coflFee 
grounds, dregs or sediment in a cup of tea, &c. 
Probably derived from the Celtic Cornish word graw, 

Groyne. A seal. m.a.c. 

Grunge, or Grange. To grind the teeth, to make a 
grinding sound in chewing. 

Guag. Rubbish is so called by shoaders, TonUn. 
A Celtic Cornish word. Pryce says "when the 
tinners hole into a piece of ground, which has been 
wrought before, though filled up again, they call it 
holing in gioag." 

Gufif. See Caflf. 

Guinea-pigs. Small white cowrie shells. 

Guis. "An old sow that hath had many pigs." 
Pohvhek. It is a Celtic Cornish word. 

Guise-dance. A kind of carnival or hal-masgud at 

Polwhele calls it the guise or disguise dance, for so the 
Cornish pronounce guise (geez). "This dance answers 
to the ' mummers ' of Devon, and the morrice dancers 
of Oxfordshire," &c. In Celtic Cornish ges, means 
mockery, a jest. 

Gulge. To drink to excess. 

Gur. The shanny fish. c. 

Gurt. A gutter. Callington. 

GurgO, or Gurgy. A low hedge, or rough fence. 
Giir in Celtic Cornish means an end, an extremity, 
and ge, a fence. 


Gurgoes. Long narrow lanes. w.f.p. In Celtic 

Cornish gur, end, extremity ; and go, a particle used 
with words to denote a progress towards. Williams. 

Gurrie. A handbarrow for fish; a wicker basket with 
handles as in a sedan chair. 

Gut. A narrow gap, trench, or passage. 

Guts. A contemptuous term for a glutton. 

Gwaith. "The breast hook of a boat." M.A.C. 

Gweans. See Queens. 

Gwenders, or Wonders. A tingling or stinging 

of the extremities from cold. In Celtic Cornish gwan 
means a sting. 

Haaf saved. Half witted. See Half baked. 
Hadgy-boor. See Hedgy-boar. 

Haestis, or Hastis. Hurriedly, hastily, impatiently. 

Haestis-gO-thurra. The diarrhea. 

Hag. A mist. 

Hager. Ugly, deformed, rough, foul, evil, fierce, cruel. 

This is a Celtic Cornish word. See Agar. 
Hailer. A thief's confederate. " The hailer is as bad 

as the stailer " (stealer). 

Hair-pitched. Bald. Ncwhjn. t.c. 

Haivery. Miserly, greedy of money, envious. From 
the Celtic Cornish avi, aveij, or arij, spite, envy, 


Hale. To haul, drag, or pull. " Hal' en op," i.e., pull 
him up. 

" Hither hale the misbelieving Moor." 

" I'll hale the dauphin headlong from his throne." 

Halish. (Pale. M.A.C.) Ailing, weak. 

Half-baked, or Haaf saved. Said of one who is 

silly, and stupid. 
Hallyhoe. The skipper fish. 
Hall Monday. The day before Shrove Tuesday. 

See Nicka-nan night. 

Halvan. Kefuse of the ore after spalling. Tonkin. 

Halvaner. One who receives half the produce for 

his labour. E.N. 

Hall-nut. Hazel nut. 
Hallan-tide. All saints' day. 

Haly-Caly. To throw things to be scrambled for. 

Hame. A circle of straw rope. A straw horse-collar. 
(A hame is used to fasten the fore leg of a sheep to 
prevent him from breaking fence. c. ) 

Hange. (Pronounced, hanjh). See Head and 


Hanges, or Hange. The heart, liver, and lights of 
a sheep. Those with the head are called " Head and 
hange," or "head and hinge," (or hinges.) 

Hardah. Elvan rock. c. 


Hard-head. The refuse of tin after smelting. The 
plantain. J.w. 

Hard-heads. Centaury. Centaurea nigra. 

Hare's meat. The common wood sorrel, Oxalis 

Harve. To harrow. Harve. A harrow. 

Hatter-flitter. A jack-snipe. m.a.c. 

Hauen. Haven. Carew. 

Havage. Family origin, or stock. " He comes of a 
bad havage." 

Hayned up. Land left to grow a crop of grass for 

Haysing. Poaching. C. 
Haybands. About 50 or 60 years ago, countrymen 

in wet weather "wore haybands," i.e., ropes of hay 

coiled closely round each leg to keep it dry. 

Mackintosh was not known then. ("Haybands up 

to his knees." Tregellas). 

Head and Hange, or Head and Hinges. The 

head, lungs, liver, and heart of an animal. 
Heaps. Thus said of an egotist, " He thinks hcaijs of 

Heaver, or Hay ver. A grass seed. Lolium pcrcnne. 

Heaving, Haiving, or Eaving. The stones (large 

slate stones) becoming wet from change of temper- 
ature, are heaving. Also said of ice beginning to 

thaw. See Un-eave and Giving. 


Heavy. Close grained, as heavy bread, &c. 

Heel-tap. The leather heel of a boot, or shoe. Also, 
the metal shield, or " scute " of the heel of a boot, 
or shoe. Also, the last few drops of a glass of grog. 
To heel-tap, to repair the heel of a shoe, or boot. 

Hedgy-boar, or Hadgy-boor. A hedgehog. 
Hellier, Heller, or Healer. A slater of roofs. 

Helling. A slated roof. 

Helling- stone. A slate stone used for roofs. 

Henderment, or Handerment. Obstruction, 

delay, hindrance. 

Hepping-stOCk, or Hipping-Stock. An erection, 
or stand of three or four steps, for more easily 
mounting a horse. In Lancashire it is called Horse- 
block, or Horse-stone. 

Herby-pie. A pie made of spinach, bits (a herb so 
called very much like spinach), parsley, mustard-cress, 
pepper-cress, young onions, and lettuce, with some 
slices of bacon, and a Little milk. Seasoned with 
pepper and salt. 

Herring-baim. A sprat, c. 
Hevah. See Hubba and Hevah. 
Hewal, or Hewal. See Eval. 

Hez. A swarm of bees. (Also gles). Folwhele. 

Hick-mal. See Ekky-mowl. 

Hiding. A thrashing. A " tanning." 

Higher-quarter people. People from the uplands 

near a town. St. Austell. 

Hile. The beard of corn. 
Hilla, or Hillah. The nightmare. Borlase. It is a 

Celtic Cornish word. 

Hippety-hop, or Hippety-hoppety, A jumping 

kind of walk or gait. 

Hoase. Forbear. Careiv. 

Hobbies. A kind of hawk. Careio. 

Hobbillj or Hobban. Dough, raisins, and fat, baked 
in the form of a pasty; also called Figgy-duff, 

Hobble. A band for the legs of animals to prevent 
their breaking fence or running away. 

Hobbler. An unlicensed pilot. Two or three men 
own a boat, so as to tow a vessel in with a rope. 
They share the hobbles, or profits between them. 

Hobbelers. This so spelt by Hals, is, he says, the 
name given to the men and horses posted on the 
Cornish beacons, to give notice on any alarm of the 
approach of an enemy. On the beacon was a pile 
of wood, or barrel of pitch elevated on a pole, and 
fired in the night ; or in daytime a smoke was raised 
from some combustible matter. 

Hoddy-mandoddy. A simpleton, u.j.t. (Hocl- 

madoil, N. of Etujlancl). 
Hoggan, or Fuggan. A pork pasty. A tinner's 
pasty. Iloyeii, Celtic Cornish. Pryce. 


Hogget. A two year old ewe. Hog lamb. A 

sheej) under a year old. 
Holidays. Parts left untouched in dusting. "Don't 

leave any holidays." 
Hollibubber. One who earns his living out of the 

refuse of the slate quarries at Delabole. c. 

Holla-pot. See Tom-holla. 

Holm. The holly-tree. 
Holm-SCritch. The missel-thrush. C, 
Holt, or Holster. A lurking place, a place of con- 
cealment. A place of rendezvous. (Hulstred, Saxon, 

Honey-pin. A peculiar sweet apple. Bottrell. 

Hood, or Ood. Wood. 

Hoop. The bullfinch. C. 

Hopps. Small hits, as, "Hopps of gold." Carew. 

Hooraa! Wurraa! or Wurraw! Hurrah! or 

Huzza ! A word common to many nations. Jewish, 
hosanna ; Old French, hitzzer, (to shout aloud); Dutch, 
husschen; Eussian, hoera and hoezee. Hurrar is a cor- 
ruption of Tur-aie (Thor aid), a battle cry of the 
Northmen. JFace, " Chronicle." (Breiver's Dicty). 
Hootin. Blubbering, " Stop tha hootin', dew." 
Hooze, or Hoozy. Hoarse. Eoz, Celtic Cornish. 
Hooze, or Hoost. A bronchial disease in cattle. 

HoDzle-pipe. See Oozle, 


Hoppety bed. A game, hopscotch. In playing it, a 

figure like the diagram is marked out on the ground, 
on a space about 9 or 10 feet long, and about 4 feet 
wide. The figures are for explanation. 

2 5 

1 4 7 

3 6 

A small stone being placed at No. 1, the player, 
standing on one foot, has to tip the stone, in hojiping, 
from bed to bed, as numbered. If the stone go 
beyond the next space, or over the line, or, if the 
player cease to stand on one leg, he is " out." (Pan 
bed. Truro). 

Horn-fish. The gar-fish. Borlase. 

Horny- wink. Plover, (in the east); slugs, (in the 
west). Dr. Bannister. 

Horny-winky. A toad. H. J. Royal Instlt. of Corn- 

Horny-winky. Desolate, outlandish, as of a place 
fit only for " horny-winks and lap-wings." J.w. 

Hosen. Stockings. In Celtic Cornish, hosan, a stock- 

Housey. Ennui from too much confinement in the 
house, '* feeling housey." 

HOSS in the lode. When a piece of "dead," ground 
(uuitiix) is found in an expansive form in the lode, 
they say " the lode have taken boss," (horse). E.N. 

Horse adder. The horse fly, the dragon fly. 
Housen. This old phiral form for houses is nearly 

Hov. Heave. In Sj^enser, Hove. 

Howsumever, or Howsomdever. Howsoever. 

HuCCaner. A wood corner. M.A.c. 
Hucksen. The knuckles, or joints. "Muck up to 
the hucksen." 

Hubba ! and Hevah ! " Great excitement prevailed 
here (St. Mawes). The cry of Hubba! rang through 
the town, and quantities of pilchards were reported 
to be passing through the stems. The seines were 
soon manned and pulled with all possible speed." 

Cornishman, Oct 13, 1881. 
" The welcome sound of Hevah ! was heard at St. 
Ives yesterday, and the boats on the look-out for 
pilchards were instantly on the alert." 

JFestern Morning Neios, Oct. 14, 1881. 
These words, Hubba and Hevah, require a little 
notice. Hubba is wrong, it should be Ubba as written 
in ancient manuscripts. It is a Celtic Cornish word, 
meaning, in this place, here. In Ubba we seem to 
have the sound of the word Hubbub. Anciently 
Ubba was written Ubma, and still more anciently it 
was omma, in which we have some of the sound of 
the word hum, a continued sound, or murmur. 
Hevah by the change of a letter would be heuah or 
hewah, just as we find Eval to be pronounced Yeul or 
Yewl and Yewol, words for a three-pronged dung-fork. 


In Jimah we seem to have the sound of line as in 

"Hue and cry." 

Whether the origin of the word Hevah! can be 

traced to Evoe ! is not very clear, yet the following 

quotation by Beal (Britain and the Gael) may be 

interesting to the reader. 

"Strabo (born about a.d. 19), speaks of an island 

near Britain, where sacrifice was offered to Ceres and 

Proserpine, in the same manner as at Samothrace; and 

in the words of Dionysius Perieg, (lines 1225, 1228), 

or of his translator," it is said, 

•' As the Bistonians on Apsinthus banks 
Shout to the clamorous Eiraphiates ; 
Or, as the Indians on dark-rolling Ganges, 
Hold revels to Dionysos the noisy, 
So do the British women shout EvOe ! 

Finally, it may be observed that uhha is also written 
upfa (but pronounced oopa) a word or outcry also 
meaning, in this place, here. See Uppa, uppa, 


Hud, or Hull. A shell, as of a nut, &c. In Celtic 
Cornish hudha, to cover, to hide. 

Hud. The dry crust or scrab on a sore. 

Huel. A. mine, a work. ITwel, wheal, iclieyl, ichel, 
and u-Jujl are Celtic Cornish for the same. 

Huer. A man stationed on some look-out place near 
the sea to give notice of the position of a shoal of 
pilchards. Dr. Paris, in describing the Pilchard 
fishery. (Guide to Mount's Bay and the LniuVs End, 
note, p. 150), says that Tunny-fish were caught by a 
similar process in the Archipelago. "Ascendebat 


quidam (Anglice the Eiier, Grsece ThunoscoposJ in 
ultum promoutorium, unde Thunnorum gregem spec- 
uleretur, quo viso, signum piscatoribus dabat, qui 
ratibus totum gregem iucludebant." Vide Blom- 
field's Notes on the Persse of Eschylus, p. 148. The 
seine was as familiar to the Athenians, as the 
Pilchard fishery is to the inhabitants of Cornwall ; 
and it is said that Eschylus took great delight in 
witnessing it," and they had a "huer" who did 
exactly as in Cornwall. 

Hiunmock. A stout, unwieldy womaru M.A.C. 

Hurle. A filament. Ourlen, silk in Celtic Cornish. 

Hurling. A game of throwing or hurling a silvered 
or silver-gilt ball, played by two opposing parties, each 
striving to get the ball to a goal. An especial game 
at St. Columb. This is one of the manly and exciting 
games for which Cornwall is deservedly famous. 

Hurling-ball motto. The ball is a round piece of 
timber about three inches diameter, covered with 
plated silver, sometimes gilt. It had usually a motto 
in the Cornish tongue alluding to the pastime, as, 
"Guare wJieag yw guare teag," i.e., fair play is good 
play. A ball at Paul had this motto, "Paul Tuz, 
whek Gware Tek heb ate iuz Eemvis, llOi." In English 
thus, " Paul men, fair play, without hatred, is sweet 
play." Lake's Parochial Hist, of Cornicall. 

Hurrisome. Hasty. See Haestis. 

Hurts, or Herts. Whorts, whortleberries. See 




Huscen. Scolded. T.\y.s. 

lies. Flukes. Distoma Hepatka. The cause of the rot 
in sheep. Also the name given to a plant, Rosa solis, 
by eating which it was supposed the disease was 
caused. Tonkin. The plant is not injurious nntil it 
becomes infested with the ova of the " fluke." 

Illek. The gurnard fish. Careio. See EUeck. 

Ill-wished. Bewitched. 

Inchin. Encroaching inch by inch. Boys cried out 
at play, "No inchin, no inchin." 

IngrosserS. Persons who bought wheat at eighteen 
gallons the bushel, and delivered the same at sixteen 
gallons the bushel. Careiv. 

Ire. Iron. 

Ishan. The dust, (douse) or husks from winnowed 
corn. r.w.P. It is a Celtic Cornish word and spelt 
ision, or usion, meaning, chaff, or husks of corn. 

ISS. Yes. "Iss a es," i.e., Yes he is. 

Issterday. Yesterday. 

I-facks ! Yes faith ! In the north of England I-fakins! 

ISS fath ! IsS fay ! or Iss fey ! Yes sure ! Fay 
and Fey are Celtic Cornish words meaning, faith. 

"Whether sayest thou this in earnest or in play ! 
Nay, quod Arcite, in earnest by my /ay." Chaucer. 

" By my fay." The London Prodigal. 
(Piu'infayf or (Re-'m) " Bvm fey," by my faith, is 
also Celtic Cornish). 


Jack. Almost if not quite disused in Cornwall. The 
well known name of the machine for turning a spit 
in roasting; worked by a weight with puUies, by 
which the spit was turned round 

Jack Harry's lights. Phantom lights preceding a 
storm, superstitiously thought to take the form of the 
vessel doomed to be lost. 

Jack-O-lent. A dirty, slovenly fellow. c. 

Jack with the lantern. Will-o-the-wisp. Ignis 

Jacky. Too much Black Jack or Blende in the ore. 
" For the ore was waik and jaclci/ in the stoan. 


Jacky-ralph. A wrasse. m.a.c. 

Jaffle. A handful. See Yaffle. 

Jail, or Jaale. To walk fast. "Jailing along." 

Jailer, or Jallishy buff. Yellow. See Yaller. 

Jan-jansy. Two-faced. M.A.C. Janus-like. 

Jelly-flower. Gilly-flower, the stock. Gilo/re, Chaucer. 

Jews' ears. Some kinds of fungi. c. 

Jews' fish. The halibut, Uppoglossus vulgaris. Called 
the Jews' fish because of its being a favourite part of 
their diet. (At Plymouth in the first half of the 
century the brill was always called the halibut). 

(The Cornishman, 1882J. 

Jews' house. A very ancient smelting place for tin. 



Jews' pieces. Very ancient blocks of tin. PohvJiele. 

Jews' works. Very ancient stream-works " are now 
stiled, JeAvs' works, and were used to be stiled in 
Cornwall " ntfal sarazln," or the leavings of the 
Saracens." Q.v. Pohvhcle. 

Jick, or Juck; Yrix, Yuck, or Yock, Yex, (Yoxe 

Saxon, and in Chaucer). To hiccough. See Yock 

or Yuck. 
Jiggety-jig. A jog-trot style of travelling in a shaky 

vehicle, ' ' gwain j iggety-j ig." 
Jigging. A process of sifting the ore from the refuse 

in a tub, or tank of water. 
Jimmery Chry ! An exclamation of surprise. Can 

it be believed I ! In Celtic Cornish we have krysy, to 

believe, to have faith in. 
Jinny-ninny. A simpleton. 
Jinny-quick, or Jenny-quick. Italian irons. 

When a woman wants to "do" her caps aud collars, 

she calls for the Jinny-C[uick. 
Joan the Wad. The name of one of the fairies. 

JFad, Celtic Cornish, a forefather. 
John-jaick. A snail. CalUngton. 

Jonnick. " That's jonnick," i.e., that's jolly. 
Josing. Scolding. "Jawing." 
JoUStin. Shaking. " A good joustin." 

Jowder, jowter, chowder, and j ouster. An 

itinerant fish-dealer who carries the fish on the back 
in a coiml (Q.v.) Also called hack-jouster (Q.V.) In 
later years a donkey cart has been umch used instead. 


Jowds, or Jowders. Pieces, bits. " Tes scat oal to 

jowders," i.e., It is broken all to pieces. 
Jowlin. A dull, gnawing pain is so called, as " I've a 

jowlin tooth ache." 
Juck. See Jick, and Yock, or Yuck. 
Jumpin. Thus used, "a jumpin little scamp." A 

little humbugging fellow is a "jumpin" or a "rump- 

in " fellow. A term of contempt. 
Jung. Young. Jungk, Celtic Cornish, young. 

Junket. New (or raw) milk fresh from the cow, 
curdled by rennet. Clotted cream is laid on the top, 
and the whole flavoured with nutmeg and rum. 
Elsewhere junket means a cheese cake, a sweet-meat, 
properly made of curd. The word is the Italian 
giuncaie (curd, or cream cheese), so called because 
carried on junk or bull rushes (giirnco). Brewer. 

" Yon know there want no junTcets at the feast. " 

Shakspere " Taming of the Shrew." 

Just alive. Mining term, meaning a small appearance 
of ore in the stone. 

Jyst. A joist or beam. Jyst and gyst are Celtic Cornish 
words for a beam. 

Kager, Keggas, or Kai-yer. Wild parsnip, wild 

carrot. H.R.c. The ancient Cornish called hemlock 
Kan Kayers. Two or three confederates who unite 
to undervalue, or make fictitious offers, and praise 
anything they wish to sell ; tricksters. Bottrell. 

Karn, or Carn. The solid, hard, or rocky ground. 

See Cam. 

Katty-ball. A child's ball for playing with. 

Kearny. IMould on a liquid surface. 

Kayer. A coarse sieve for winnowing corn. M.A.C. 

Keddened, (or Cabagged, b.v.) Covered over 
with mud or dust. w.F.P. Kaggled. H.R.C. (See 


Keels, or Kails. Skittles. Ninepins. 
Keel-alley, or Kail-alley. A place for playing at 

ninepins or skittles. 
Keem. To comb, as of the hair. 
Keeming comb. A small-tooth comb. m.a.c. 
Keenly. Promising in appearance, as of a lode. 

" Keenly gozzan." Also, clever, as, " he did that 

putty keenly." 

Keenly-gozzan. See Keenly. 
Keggled. See Geagled. 

Keg-nail, or Kag-nail. An ill shaped toe or finger 

nail. A thickened toe-nail. 
Keeve, or Kieve. A great tub, or vat; also, a potatoe 

cave, i.e., a place where potatoes are heaped and 

buried with earth. Perhaps cave mispronounced, in 

this sense. 
Kelter. " In good kelter," i.e., in good condition, as 

of cattle. 


Kendle teening. Candle lighting time. To tine, or 
teen, is to light, as '' teen the candle." 

Kenack. A worm. (A weakly child. W.C.B.) 

KinaJc, Borlase. It is Celtic Cornish. 
Kennin. A white cloudy spot on the cornea, like a 

thin film. (Kennel. m.A.C.) Ken is a Celtic 

Cornish word meaning the peel, or skin of anything. 
Kennin herb. A plant, the decoction of which is 

used for the cure of a kennin. Polwhele says it is 

Crow-foot. Eammculus. 
Keeping company. Phrase used of lovers after 

" popping the question." 

Keep on, keeping on, or keeping on keeping 

on. Idiomatic phrases used of a scold who won't 

cease talking. Also used of a bully. 
Kep-kep-kep. A call to make a horse come near 

one. (See back for this in " The words compared with 

Kern. To curdle. 

Kerned. Concreted. " He has also seen gold kerned 
about spar," that is, fixed and concreted on the quartz. 


Kerning. Term used of corn as it ripens after the 
period of blossoming. 

Kert. A cart. It is a Celtic Cornish word. Also 

Kib. V. To repair, as of a hedge, with thorns, &c. 


Kibbed. Ground fenced off with bushes, furze, &c. 

Kibble. An iron mine bucket, used up and down a 

mine shaft. (Kibbal, a bucket, a little tub). Borlase. 

A Celtic Cornish word. 
Kibby heels. Sore heels. Heels with chilblains on 

Kick and sprawl. The courage and power to resist. 

" If people tried to hand him over to any one, he 

would soon let them see that he had some Jdck and 

spraiul in him." 
Kicker. A small mizen used by fishing boats. W.F.P, 
Kicklish. Ticklish. A dangerous state, or position. 

A delicate or difficult job, as, "a kicklish job," "he 

is standing in a kicklish place." 
Kicky. To stammer. 

Kiddaw. The guillem. A sea bird. m.a,c. 
Kiddliwink, Kidleywink, Kiddle-a-wink, and 

Tiddly- wink. These are names for a beer-house. 
The term Kiddle (^-e^//e)-a-wink is perhaps the cor- 
rect term. At a conversazione at Laregan in 1881, 
Mr. F. Holraan gave the origin of the word thus. 
"At the time the name arose the beershops were not 
all kept by honest dames, for they were then fond of 
keeping a little smuggled brandy which was put in 
the kettle, so as to deceive the officers of the law, and 
those who were in the secret, when they came into 
the room, and wanted some of the brandy, would 
ivink at the kettle. Hence arose the term " Kettle and 
wink," or Kidley-wink." Cornishman, Nov. 17, 1881. 


Kiddle, Kiddly, or Kiddlin. To be engaged about 
various little jobs. " Always kiddlin about." 

Kidge. To stick, to unite, to " chum " together. 

Kidney. To agree together, to be chums together, to 
confederate, as, " they kidney together very well." 
(Kidge. M.A.C.) 

Kiggal. A spindle. BottreU. This is a Celtic Cornish 
word, spelt Kijgd or Kigel, and meaning a distaff. 

Killas. Clay slate, the " schist " of the geologists. 

Killeck. A stone used as an anchor for punts. w.F.P. 

Killi-more. Earth-nuts. Ealliwell. Grove-nuts. Pol- 
wliele. Kelli or Killi is a Celtic Cornish word mean- 
ing a grove, and mor berries. Moran, a berry. 

Kimbly. Couch, in his History of Polperro, says that 
"at weddings it was formerly the custom when the 
party set out for church, for one person to be sent 
before with a piece of bread or cake in his or her 
hand, (a woman was usually selected) and this was 
presented to the first person met in the procession. 
The gift was called the " kimbly," and was also given 
at births to the person who brought the first news to 
those interested in the new arrival." Kimbly was 
also given to the one who brought first news in the 
smuggling times. " If us catches sight of 'em (smug- 
glers) comin in we'll rin down and tell the news, and 
you shall have Idrnhly for telling it." 

il/rs. Parr's Adam & Eve. 


Kings. The name used at Eedruth for donkeys. 
Corn. Telegraph 1879. An ill applied name to so 
patient an animal. 

Kip. A. small net used to hang vegatables in. w.C.b. 

Kipes. See Giblets. 

Kipper. A male salmon. c. 

Kiskey. " A dried brittle stem." " A withered /;/sZ;e?/ 
of a man" m.A.c. 

Kist-vean. A Celtic stone built chest or burial place. 
It is Celtic Cornish and reads literally chest little. 

Kit. A smear. To kit. To dab. EaJl'mell. 

Kit. Kith or kin "I'll turn out the whole kit," i.e., the 
whole lot of them. In Celtic Cornish heth, the com- 
mon people ; also, chet, a companion, a fellow. 

Kitey. Flighty, hair-brained, impulsive. 

Kittens. The kidneys. 

Kittereen. A primitive omnibus. "The Kit-tereen 
Avas a car that ran between Penzance and Truro, set 
up by Christopher Treen," (Kit Treen.) J.w. 

Kitting. stealing ore. To kitt. To steal ore. 

Kitty-bags. Coarse cloths bound round the legs of 
labourers to keep them dry. They used also to wear 
straw or hay rope coiled round the legs as a protec- 
tion in rough weather. See Hay-bands. 

Kiwer. A cover. Kevere, Chaucer. 


Knacked. Stopped working, said of a mine ; also to 
dissuade, as, " I've a knacked that out uv lies hade." 
Knap. The top, or summit of a hill. 
Knick. To cheat. 

"Hes stoanin wights and temberin scaales, 
I'm sure they air but smaal, 
Beware of Moases Tonkyn, 
Or he will hnkh ee oal." J. T. Tregellas. 

Knot COW. A cow without horns, having a little knot 
or knob on the head instead of them. 

Knuckle down. To submit, to yield, to " give in." 
Ko. See Co. 
Koffen. See Coffins. 

Lace. A rood, or perch of land. ai.A.c. 

Lace. This is a Celtic Cornish word meaning to lick 
or slap ; to throw about ; to cudgel ; to lash. Pro- 
nounced lak in the old Cornish, as, "??;6 ath Ink," I 
will lace thee. 

Laggen. v. To splash in the water. MouseJioIe. 

Lagging. Dragging in the mud, also Ligging. Q.v. 

Laister. The yellow water-iris. M.A,C. 

Lake. Used of a sea cove, as Gwavas lake, (A brook 

is so called at Lostwithiel. J.W.) 
Lambs' legs. The snivel of a child's neglected nose. 

Lambs' tails. The blossoms of the crack willow. 
Salix fracjilis. 


Lamb-y or Lammy-pie. " Lammy pie isn't made 
of Iamb" I as the name Avould imply. The following 
tale will explain. It is fully given in Warner's Tour 
through Cornwall in 1809. " A Cockney who had a 
mind to see the world, strayed down as far as St. 
Ives, where he entered an inn and called for supper. 
Have you any beef for a steak ? No ! Any veal for 
a cutlet 1 No ! Any mutton for a chop 1 No ! 
What ! no meat ! No please your honour, except a 
nice lamnnj-ine, which was baked to day. The Cock- 
ney licked his lips at the prospect of a cold laml-pie, 
and ordered it up. Hunger was his sauce; he ate 
heartily, and relished his meal exceedingly. He 
passed the night in horrors, but had no idea they 
arose from the indigestible quality of his supper, till 
the next morning, when he was about to mount his 
horse. ' Well Sir,' said the ostler, seeing he was a 
stranger, ' how did you like missuses lammy-pie last 
night 1 Excellent,' replied he, ' twas the best lamh I 
ever tasted. Lord love ye,' returned John, ' it was 
not that ; lammy-pie isn't made of lamb. Why what 
the devil was it then 1 exclaimed the horrified travel- 
ler. ' Why our poor kiddy, to be sure,' returned the 
other, 'who died yesterday," This dainty dish is 

Lamper. A lamprey. 

Lampered. IMottled, stained. "Lampered all over 
with dirt." 

Lannard. A kind of hawk. Carew. 


Lantern fish. The soUa kevis or Arnoglossus, so 

called because it is a very transparent sole. 
Lap; or Lop. To throb, as in pain. (Lap, to beat. 

Lap, or Cat-lap. Tasteless, insipid fluid, or drink. 

Lappy. To lap. 

Lappior. A dancer. This is a Celtic Cornish word. 

Larrence. (St. Lawrence). " He is as lazy as 

Larrikins. Mischievious young fellows, larkers. 
" Mischievious larrikins who pull the young trees 
down." The CornisJiman. 

Lashin, or Lasher. A very large thing, a lot or 

Lash. To throw anything down violently, as *'he 
lashed it down." To pour, as of rain. 

Lash. Bait cut from the tail of a mackerel. c. 

Lasking. Keeping near the coast, a fisherman's term. 

B.v. Mousehole. 

Latteen, Lattin, or Lattice. Names for tin-plate. 

Lattice. The vegatable lettuce. 

Lattis. A milk-pail. Penwiih, in the Antiquary. 

Probably from lait, which besides being the French 
for milk, is also a Celtic Cornish word, and it is " the 
old orthography of leijth or leth as written in the 
" Ordinalia." Williams's Cornish Didij. 

Launder, or Lander. A. water shute of a building. 

Lauch. A sloppy mess, any ill combined liquid food. 
Beef tea and treacle, would be a lauch if mixed. 

Lawn, or Lawen. " A large open mine-work in the 
back of a lode left in a dangerous state." 

Toiccdnack. T.c. 

Leaping-stock. See Hepping-stock. 

Leary, or Lairy. Faint and hungry, sinking from 
want of food. In use in Devon and Dorset. In Wilt- 
shire they say leer, (empty.) 

Leasing. Picking stones. Folivhcle. 

Gleaning. c. 

Leat. An artificial channel for a stream, as of water 
for a mill. 

Leavers, or Lavers. Marsh iris. Name probably 
from levar, Celtic Cornish, a book. 

Lemon plant. The verbena. 

Lent-lillies. Daffodils. 

Lerrick. To flap about, " lerriking about." 

Lerrup, or Lerruper. A slut. "A regular lerrup." 
A trollop. 

Lerrupin. Trolloping. Also, something very big. 
" a lerrupin great turnip." 

Lerrups. Rags, tatters, "all to lerrups." 

Lerrups, or Lirrups. See Bits. 


Lester-cock. A floating contrivance with a small 

sail to carry a " boulter " seawards in fishing. Careu: 
In Celtic Cornish Jester means a ship, and coc, a boat. 

Let. Hindrance, hesitation, delay. To let. to 
hinder, to stop or impede. This word was in use in 
Cornwall many centuries ago, although not Celtic; 
being the old English lei, as in the following, ''Hep 
no, moy Ut,^' ie., without any further delay. 

Letterputch. A dirty untidy person ; also a short 
hornpipe dance, but more with the heels than the toes. 
In Lancashire it is called Letherty-patch. An idle 
person stands on one's doorstep, hands in pockets, 
and every now and then kicks up his heels to this 
dance. Those within, annoyed at the sound cry out, 
" there goes letherty-patch again with his, rat-tat, rat- 
tat, ratty-tatty, rat-tat-tat. Also spelt letterpooch, and 

Leu, Lew, Leuth, or Lewth. (Synonymous). A 
sheltered place. It also means concealment, as 
" He's lying lew " Le., lying hid, or " out of the way." 
Eleo, Celtic Cornish, sheltered. 

Leustre. To plan. M.A.c. 

Level. An adit. 

Libbety-lat. The name of a game for children. 

LibbingS. " The webs of a waterfowl's feet." M.A.c. 
Lick. A wipe of the face with a wet corner of a 
towel. " I've just given my face a lick." 

Lide. The month of March. c. 

Lidden. An oft told tale. " Harping on one string," 

always telling the same old story, " that old lidden 

again." Leden, Chaucer. Ledden, Spenser. In the 

North of England it means noise, din. 
Lie. " Cxone to lie " is said of grass or coi'n beaten 

down by rough weather. Also "The wind is gone 

to lie," i.e., it is become calm. 
Lifting dome. Tippling, guzzling. 
Lig, or Liggan. A deposit, as of seaweed, a detritus 

of dead leaves. Ligge, to lie down. Chaucer. Lig 

or Liggen, to lie. Spenser. 

Lig, or Liggan. A kind of sea weed. m.a.c. 

A manure formed of leaf deposit. c. 
Liggy. IMuddy, mucky, damp. 

Ligging. Dragging along and smearing with mud; 

very wet, drizzly, as of the weather. 
Lights. The lungs. " Eising of the lights " a phrase 

used of a choking feeling in the throat. 
Likky pie. Pie of leeks, with bacon, and an egg or 

two broken over the hot contents. 
Lilly-bangers. The " cup and dice " were so called 

at Penzance. M.A.C. 

Lilly-banger stalls. "Until within the last 20 
years it was the custom in Penzance on Easter 
Monday to bring out tables before the doors, on 
which were placed thick ginger-bread cakes with 


raisins in them, cups and saucers, &c., to be raffled 
for with Ulhj-bangers," and the stalls were thus named. 


Limb, or Lemb. There is a curious use of this word, 
thus, "My face is my best limb." Also, a young 
brat, imp, hussy, or termagant. "She's a regular 
lemb." A she-devil. 

Lime-kill. Lime kiln. " Which is hateful to me as 
the reek of a lime-hill.^' 

Shahpere in the Merry JFives of Windsor. 

Linsing, or Linching. A severe thrashing. 

Ling. Anything very tough is said to be " as tough as 
old ling." 

Linhay. An outhouse, or shed, with a lean-to roof 
and an open front. 

Lintem. A lintel 

Lipsy. A lisping. " He speaks all lipsy." 

Listin. The selvedge of cloth. Woven and used for 
hearthrugs, mats, &c. In Celtic Cornish lysten, a 
towel, a napkin. 

Listing. Aching, throbbing with pain. 

Living stream. A course or stratum of stones im- 
pregnated with tin. Borlase. 

Loader. A double shaped apple. 

Lob. " A stone tied to the end of a fishing line, to 
keep it fast Avhen thrown from the rock." c. 



Lobba, Loaber, Lubba. An awkward fellow, a 
lubber. u.J.T. 

Locking bone. The hip joint. See Pin and 


Locus. Sweet stuff, sugar stick. See Clidgy. 

Lodden or Plodden. A pool. m.a.c. 

Lodes. Mineral veins. Most lodes, says Prj'ce, (Min- 
emlogia Cornubiensis) are named from the minerals 
contained in them. He divides lodes into twelve 
different kinds as under. 
1. — Gossan lode. 7. — Crystal lode. 

2.— Peach lode. 8.— Killas lode, 

3. — Scovan lode. 9. — Mundick lode. 

4. — Caple lode. 10. — Black-jack lode. 

5. — Pryan lode. 11. — Flookan lode. 

6. — Quartz lode. 12. — Grouan lode. 

To notice each separately would exceed the limits of 
this book. The following is characteristic. 

" What's a caunter lode, Uncle Henney ? " " Why 
thee'rt old enuff and ugly enuff, Old Tom, to knaw 
what a caunter lode es as well as I do." "Well, 
so I thoft I ded too/' says Old Tom, "till I 
heer'd our boy Jacky readin in the Mining Journal 
that a caunter lode ded run north and south." "Then 
a couldn't be a caunter," says Uncle Henney, " but 
a cross-coose running right athurt, for a caunter is 
slanting, or caunting a east and west lode, and that 
is the meaning of a caunter lode, for suppose there is 
a east and west lode, and another lode running 


north-east and south-west — slanting the east and west 
lode — the north-east and south-west lode is a caunter, 
and that's all that can be said about'n I reckon," says 
Uncle Henney ; " and I say so too," says old Tom ; 
"and I say," says Jan Tenby, "that lots of they 
larned men going about now a day don't know a 
caunter lode from a cross-coose, or a true tinker from 
Old Joe H — y's tinker." From the " Cornishman." 

Lode-plot. A lode that underlies very fast ; or hori- 
zontal, and may be rather called a. flat lode. Pryce. 

Lofty-tin. Eich, massive, rough tin ore, and not so 
weak or imperceptible in the stone, or in powder on 
the shovel. Fryce. 

Logan rock. A logging rock. A rock so nicely 
balanced as to rock easily. Hence the name of the 
celebrated Logan rock. In Celtic Cornish, logan, 

Loggers, or Lugs. The ears. M.A.c. 

Long-cripple. A lizard. M.A.C. "In Devonshire, 
a snake." J.w. The slow worm or deaf adder of 
authors. Borlase. 

Long-nose. The sea pike, the garfish. 

Long oyster. The sea crayfish. Fohvhek. 

Long-stone. A tall (granite) stone, either monu- 
mental, directing, or boundary. Many such, of 
great antiquity, are still standing. In Celtic Cornish 
maen heir, battle stone, or maen Mr, long stone. Heir, 
battle: Mr, long. 


LoobS. A Celtic Cornish mining term. The tin shme 
or sludge of the after leavings in washing tin. The 
slime " leavings." 

Looby weather. Muggy weather. From the Celtic 
Cornish looh, slime, sludge. 

LoOCh, or Loach. Ssee Lauch. Looch, filth, refuse. 

Hayle. t.c. 
Lootal. A tawdry gadabout. T.c. 
Loppard, or Lopper. A lame person. 

Loppety lop. A hopping, or lame-like movement, 
moving like a rabbit is to go "loppety lop." 

Lopping. Throbbing with pain. "Its lopping very 
bad ; " also walking lame, " lopping along." 

Lop-lolly, Lob-lolly, or Lobba. A fag, a fac- 
totum j a lazy fellow. 

Lords and Ladies. The common Arum or Cuckow 
pint. Arum maculatum. 

Lost-slovan. From the Celtic Cornish lost, a tail, a 
rump. Commonly low-sloyan. The beginning of an 
adit through the tail or end; that part which lies 
open like a trench before they drive underground. 


Louggy. Tired. G. E. in the " Corniahmcm." 

Louning. Long, lank, thin. C. 

LoUSter, or Loustry. To work hard. " He who 
cau't scheme must luuster." 

Loustering. "A loustering man," i.e., a well-gro-wTi 

powerful man. "Loustering work," very hard work. 

Love-entangle. The fennel flower. Polwhele. 

Lubber-cocks. Turkey cocks. (Lubber-leets. 


Lucky-bone. The knuckle-bone of a leg of mutton. 

Lud. " Sent all of a lud" struck all of a heap. W.N. 

Lugg. Undergrowth of weed, clover, &c., among corn. 

Lug-worm. A salt-water worm, used for bait in 
fishing. Beach worm. 

Lump. To resign oneself to what is inevitable. " If 
you don't like it you must lump it." 

Lurk, or Lurgy. Laziness. 

" Fever lurh, neither play nor work." Brewer. 

Lurker. The small boat which attends the other boats 
in pilchard seining. The boat in which the master 
seiner goes. 

Mabyers. Chickens, young fowls. In Celtic Cornish 

muh (filius) a son. 
Maggots. Whims. " Such maggots ! " 
Maggoty pie. A mag-pie. 

Maggy-owler, or Maggy-owla. The goat moth. 

Cossus ligniperda. 
Mahogany. Gin s-weetened with treacle. 

Maidens' delight. See Boys' love. 


Maiden Elder. The elder of the woorl, or in Celtic 
Cornish Scau-an-Cuz. The Sambucus humilis of Ray. 

Malt. To feed, " go and mait the pigs." 
Mair. Sheaves of corn put "longitudinally, about 18 
feet in length by 12 feet deep," because of very 
uncertain weather. St. Levan. h.r.c. 
Mait banes. Broad beans. Callington. 
Magpies. (Sayings about them.) 

" One for sorrow ; two for mirth, 
Three for a wedding; four for a hirth." 

Couch, Polperro. 
" One for anger ; two for mirth, 
Three for a wedding; four for death." 

St. Austell. 
Make-wise. A substitute, a pretence, a "make 

Making wise. Pretending to do a thing. 
Male. The fish shanny, Blennius pliolis. C. 
Malkin. A rag mop for clearing the ashes from an 
oven. A dirty person. 

Manshun bread. Small bun shaped loaves, mau- 
chets. M.A.C. 

Man-engine. A machine used in deep mines, to 
bring the miners up or down the shaft, and to avoid 
the fatigue of using the ladders. Although differently 
constructed it serves as a " lift " for the men. Invent- 
ed about 40 or 50 years ago. 


Marchant May's little summer. A fine autumn. 

Marinade. A term used of fish cured or cooked in a 
particular way in vinegar, with bayleaves and spice. 
" Marinaded pilchards." 

Marlion. A kind of hawk. Carew. (Merlion, a 
merlin, a sort of hawk. Chaucer.) Large cjuantities, lots, as, "Mashes of mait." 
(meat. ) 

Massy! Aw! massy! Exclamations, just as 
Mercy ! or Grammercy ! (Mascie, by my faith. 


Maunge. To chew noisily, to munch. (Monche, 

Maur. See Mor or More, a root. 

Maw. " A sugary maw." See Wad. 

May-bee. A cockchafer. M.A.C. 

May-bird. The whimbrel. C. 

Maybum. A kind of bird. Marhiran {]) is Celtic 

Cornish for a Raven. 
May-games. Frolics, tricks, practical jokes. 

May-gemmin. Frolicsome, silly, childish. " Such 
maygemmin ways." 

Maazlin. Knocked foolish. t.w.S. 

Mazed. Greatly bewildered, downright mad. 

Maazedish, or Maazedy. Maddish. 

Mazed antic. A wild, crazy, foolish person. 

Mazegary, Mazegerry, or Mazejerry. Crazy, 

half mad. 

Mazejerry pattick, or Mazegerry pattick. A 

mad simpleton. u.j.t. 

Meader. A mower. Pohchck. Medcr is a Celtic 
Cornish word, and means a reaper, a mower. 

Meara-geeks. Noisy or obstinate people. 

Hals (a.d. 1736) says, '■^Camborne, signifies an arched 
burne, or well-pit of water .... to which young 
people, and some of the elder sort, make frequent 
visits .... in order to wash and besprinkle themselves, 
out of an opinion of its great virtue and sanctity, 
forsooth !" 

Those sprinkled " are called by the inhabitants mer- 
rasicJcs. These again by others are called mearagaks, 
alias moragiks; that is to say, persons straying, rash, 
fond, obstinate." In Celtic Cornish gycke or gyc 
means noise; and mh-e, much. 

MeaS. "A meas of herrings," i.e., 505 herrings. 

Meat-earth. The natural soil or surface of the land. 
" A load of good meat earth." 

Meddick. An emetic. Medhec is a Celtic Cornish 
word, and means a physician. Also medhecnaid, 

Melliers. The axles of the frame used in washing 


Men-an-tol. A holed stone. (See Cornish History.) 
In Celtic Cornish, maeti, stone, and toll, a hole, a 

Meneolas. A fisherman's original kind of wooden 
box stove, "filled with clay and stones" on which to 
cook. w.F.P. Menolas. H.R.C. In Celtic Cornish, 
7ndcn, stone ; and olas, a hearth, i.e., hearthstone. 

Men SCryfa. An inscribed stone (See Cornish His- 
tory.) In Celtic Cornish, muen, stone ; and screfa, to 

Merle. A chain link. M.A.c. 

Mermaid's purses. Brown, purse-shaped cases 
often found on the sea beach. 

Merry-dancers. The Northern lights. Aurora bor- 
ealis. So called because of their undulatory motion. 

Merryman. The clown at a Circus or Theatre. 

Merry sole. The French sole-(fish.) 

Meryan. An ant. w.f.p. (Meryan is a plural noun 
and means, ants. Murrian is the true Celtic Cornish 
plural for ants ; and murrianen or menwionen, for an 

Metheglin. Mead. Honey and water boiled together 
and fermented and flavoured with spice. This is the 
name used in Cornwall; meat? was almost an unknown 
word there. It js a Celtic Cornish word from medh, 
mead, or meith, whey, and whegol or huegol, all sweet. 


As if to say, "the all sweet mead," or whey. In 
Wales they call it mezyghn. 

Ill Sanscrit are the words madJm, mada, mad, to 
intoxicate, which compare with mead (or medh.) 

Mewed. " Scattered by fright." T.C. Sennen. 

Mews. Moss. W.T.A.P. 

Mica. In the china clay works this is the name given 
to the coarser, or inferior clay, which is deposited in 
the mica pits. The finer clay, held in suspension in 
water, passes on into the large " clay pit." It is the 
washing away of this " mica," that makes the rivers 
look like milk. In reality "mica" contains a very 
large proportion of porcelain clay, and therefore is 
often saved, and sold at a lower price. 

Mica-pits. The clay in the siojyes, (Q.V.), held in 
suspension by water, having deposited the sand, flows 
into shallow, narrow, but long pits ; as the clay fluid 
passes slowly on, the mica deposits in these mica pits, 
and the pure clay passes as it leaves these pits into 
the day-pit. (Q.v.) 

Michy. (Pro. Mit'chce.) See Minching, or Mich- 
ing. Also Minch or Mich. 

Midjans and jowds. Shreds and tatters. 
Midgets, or Midjans. Small pieces, or bits. 

Midgetty-morrows. Tlie fidgets, m.a.c. 

Midgetty por, Miggal conpore, Migglecnm- 

pore. Synonymous words for uproar. 


Mimsey, or Minny. A minnow (fish). Menow, 
minow, and minys are Celtic Cornish words, and mean 
little, small. 

Minch, or Mich. To play the truant. In Glouces- 
tershire they say mooch. 

Mincher, or Micher. A truant. 

Minching, or Miching. Playing the truant. 
"Marry! this is miching Mallecho." Hamlet. 

Milky-dicels, or disles. Thistles used for rabbits' 

MilpreV. The Druids' or serpents' egg. Lhuyd. The 
ovum anguinum of Pliny. From the Celtic Cornish 
mil, a thousand; and prev, a reptile. It was a 
common belief in Cornwall, about 1700, that the 
glass beads which are frequently found in Cornwall, 
and Wales, and called by the Welsh glain neidijr, were 
the work of snakes ; and it is a common belief now 
in Wales, that on a certain day of the year an 
immense number of snakes come together and make 
these beads with the foam of their mouths. This 
agrees substantially with Pliny's account, and has 
descended from the Druids. 

JFilliams' Cor. DicUj. 

Milsey, Milcy, or Milchy. Corn injured by damp 
undergoes a change, and becomes milsey. The bread 
made from it has a doughy consistence, and a pecu- 
liar taste, and is called milsey or ropy bread. 


Minnies. Stones fastened to stout cords, or small 
ropes^ are used]to prevent pilchards from escaping, by 
plunging such stones (or minnies) constantly in the 
gap by which the fish may escape from the seine 

Miracle plays. Sacred dramas which were acted 
anciently in a "round" (q.v.) In Celtic Cornish 
they were called Guari meers or Great plays, and 
Guar4 mirkl or Miracle plays. The place of acting 
was called plaeji an guard. (Gware. Williams). 

Missment. A mistake, an error. 

Mix-medley. A jumble, " all sorts together." 

Miz-maze. Confusion, perplexity. "We are all in 

a miz-maze." 
'Moast. Almost, nearly, well nigh, "Et's moast 

dun," i.e., it's nearly done. 

Mock. The apple cheese (Q.V.) from the cider press. 


Mock or Mott. A large block of wood, such as is 

used for a Christmas fire. 
Mocket. A bib to an apron to keep the dress clean. 
MogUSt, or MogUZ. The ass. CalUngton. 

Mole. The fish rock goby. C. 
Mollish's land. A game played by girls. One 

stood in the middle of the street, while the others 

rushing across had to be caught by her. 

Mood. A mucous, or jelh'-like mcatter formed in fluids. 
Linseed tea wlien too thick is a mood. (Vegetable 
sap. c.) Also a name for the Pancreas of an 
animal. A substance formed in vinegar is a mood 
(or Mother q.v.) 

Moonshine. Smuggled brandy was so called. 
" Woll'ee haa a drop uv moonshine I " 

Moor-house. A hut belonging to a mine for the 
shelter of workmen, and keeping their implements. 


Moorstone. Granite so called as being "scattered 
over our hills." Borlase. The term is used now of 
granite from an}' source. 

Mop. In the game called Mop and hide awa}-, (i.e., 
Hide and Seek) the Mop is the one who has to stand 
with the face covered by the hands, facing a wall, or 
in a corner, waiting to seek those who have hidden 
away. Doing this as the mop, is called moppiug. 

Mor, More, or Manr. The root, stumi?, or bole 
of a plant, or tree. 

Mor. The guillemot. c. 

Moral. See Daps. The very image of. Likeness. 

Mord, or Mort. The fat of the pig from which lard 
is melted out. It is also used for lard. 

Morion. See Cornish Diamonds. 


Mort. A lot, a large quantity as a "mort of money." 

This word is used in Kent, &c. 
Moth. See Mews. f.g. 
Mother, or Mood. A soft jelly-like matter formed 

in a fluid, as in vinegar. 

Mott. See Mock. Generally used of a large root 

of a tree. 
MoTlSey-pasty. An article of diet, with which little 

children who wetted their beds were threatened, 

" There now, you bad child, I'll give you some mousey 

Mowhay. The rick-yard, 
MuggetS. Sheep's or calf's entrails. 
Muggety-pie. A pie of sheep's, sometimes calf's 

entrails, flavoured with parsley, pepper, and salt, and 

enriched with cream. 
MugWOrt. A plant, artemisia vulgaris, often used 

to make tea for a bad cold, or taken as a tonic. 
Mule. To knead dough, to bespatter with mud. C. 

To work hard. 

Mumchance. By mere accident, "twas a mum- 

Mun. Decayed fish, used for manure. M.A.c. In 
mining, any fusible metal. Fryce. 

Mundic. Pyrites, Marcasite. 

Munger, or MlUlgar. A straw horse collar. Pol- 
ivhele. It is a Celtic Cornish word. 

Mur. The guillemot. 
Murs. Mice. Pohchele. 
Mured. Squeezed, forced, or thrust against a wall. 

IlTur a wall (French). Mured enclosed. Si)enser. 
Murely. Xearly, almost, well nigh. u.J.T. In 

Celtic Cornish, mur, much. 

Murfles. Freckles. Murfled or Murfly. 


Murgy or Morgye. A dog fish. An ill looking 
Avench. It is Celtic Cornish and sjDelt morgi by Pryce. 

Murrick. A sloven. E.j.c. 

Mute. The hybrid between an ass and a mare. C. 

Mutting. Moody. Silent and sulky. (Mute-ing ? ) 

My Ivers ! An exclamation of surprise. (My ver- 
nos ! M.A.c.) 

Nacked. See Knacked. 

Nacker. The wheatear. Saxicola cenanthe. c. 

Nackin, Nacken, or Nacker. Handkerchief. 

Nagging pain. A dull, persistent pain. 
Nag-ridden. Troubled Anth the nightmare. 

Nail-spring. The splitting of the skin at the root of 

a finger-nail, or a small splinter of the nail itself. 
Naked-jack. A crock-dumpling. CalUngton. 

'Nan. See Anan. 

Nanny-viper. A caterpillar. M.A.C. 

Nash. Pale, weak, chilly. M.A.C. 
Natey. " Streaky " meat or flesh. C. 
Nation. ^(^t^T, very big, very good, as, " a nation big 

horse," " a nation good job," " 'tis nation nice." 
'Natomy. A skeleton. Very slight and wasted in 

person, " a mere 'natomy." Anatomy. 
Nattlin pie. A pie made of pigs' entrails. 
Nattlins. Pigs' entrails. Those not used for the skins 

of sausages are sometimes fried, " fried nattlins." 
Neaps. Turnips. 
Neck. " Crying the neck." See Anek. 

Neddy. See Ass. 

Neflin. Newfoundland cod. M.A.C. 
Nepperkin. Half a gill, u.j.t. 

NeSSel. A snood of twisted twine fastened to the 

hook. C. 
Nessel-bird. The smallest of a brood. A woman's 

youngest child. A petted child. It is ncsscl-trip in 

Pembrokeshire, and nestling or nesscl-cock in the 

North of England. 
Nessel-taker. A fisherman's contrivance for making 

a nessel. C. 

Nettle. When one is stung by a nettle an old rhyme 
is thrice repeated, meanwhile rubbing the part stung 
with a dock leaf This custom is very old, and was 
noticed by Chaucer 500 years ago. 


" But canst thou j^lay at racket to and fro 1 
Nettle in, clock out ; now this now that Pandure.' 

" Is this my in dock out nettle 1 " 

Dissembler's besides women, P. 0. Moore. 
The following are the forms used, 
" Out nettle, in dock, 
Dock shall have a new smock," 
also thus, " Out nettle, in dock, 

Nettle nettle stung me." 
and simply thus, "In dock, out nettle." 

New-fang or New-vang. Any new fancy, enter- 
prise, or operation. The term is generally applied 
satirically as "that's one of his new-fangs." {Newe- 
f angel, desirous of new things. Chaucer.) 

Nibby-gibby. Narrowly escaped ; nicely missed, c. 

Nice chance. Nearly, "a close shave," all but. 

Nick. Knack, or skill in doing a thing. 

Nick. To overreach, to deceive, to cheat. 

Nicka-nan night. "The night preceding Shrove 

Tuesday is so called in Cornwall, because boys play 
impish tricks and practical jokes on the unwary." 


Nickers, Nuggies, Knockers. See Piskey. 

Nickety-knock. Throbbing, palpitating, taj^ping, 
"my heart's gwain nickety-knock." 

Niddil, or Neele. A needle. (Nidill, Chaucer.) 

Niffed. Tiffed, vexed, in a pet, " put out." 

Niggur, or Neggur. See Ass. (Onager, Latin.) 

Night-crow. A species of owl, rare in Cornwall. 

"I take it to be the fern-owl of Shropshire, called 

churn-owl in Yorkshire, from the noise it makes when 

it flies. The goat-sucker, the Crapimvlgus of Ray." 

Night-rere. A woman's nightcap. 
Night-riders. Piskey (Fairy) people who have been 

riding Tom (the name of a horse) again. H. 
Nipped. Vexed, " Her's nipped about somethin." 
Mrs. Parr's Adam d; Eve. 

Nimpingale. A whitlow. 

Nog-head, Noggle-head, or Noggy. A young 

fool. Tir na nog, in Irish means, " the land of 
Noggy. A blockhead. Garland. 

Nones, or Noance. Nonce, for the present call, or 

occasion. Nones in Chaucer. 
Nool. To thump, or beat. Noohng, ^ thrashing. 
Nope. A bullfinch, Borlase. 

Nort. Nothing. " AVhat's good for nort comes to no 

hort." (Hurt or harm.) 
Nosey. Impertinent, intrusive. 

Nowle. Noddle. Used satirically. Noule, the crown 
of the liead. Simiser. 

Nub. A knob. "A nub of sugar." 
Nuddick, or Niddick. The nape of the neck. 

Nuddic is a Celtic Cornish word. 
Null. A dry crust. M.A.C. 
Nurly. Sulky. T.c. 

Nuttall or Nut-hall. The hazel bush. 
Nyst. Near to, nearly, " all but." 

Oak-mask, or Oak-mass. Acorns. 

Oal-the-WOr. In the fashion. ''Hoods be oal the 

wor, and bunnets be wered wai a dep." (Heard said 

near Bodmin.) 
Off his chump. Insane. CalUngton. 

OgOS. Cliflf caves. Polwhele. Ogo is a Celtic Cornish 

word for a cave. See Vugg, a cavern. 
Oilet. A frying pan, a gridiron. It is a Celtic Cornish 

Okum-snifFey. A hot and nice little glass of grog. 

" Woll'ee haa a drap uv okum-sniffey ? " 
Old men. This term is applied to those who were 

mining in ancient days; perhaps centui'ies ago. In 

this way it does not mean aged men. 
Old men's backs. Old workings in a mine. When 

old workings are explored or worked again, miners 

say, " they are scratching the old men's backs." 

Old men's workings, or Learys. The remains 
of old muiing, and stream works, done anciently by 
Cornish Miners. 


OUick, or HoUick. House JeeJc. " House leek, used 
to be grown on house roofs, from the notion that it 
warded off lightning." 

Brewer's Did. of Phrase and Fable. 

Oliphant. Elephant. It is a Celtic Cornish word. 

Oodel-doodel. Helter-skelter. "And runned off 

Oost. See Hooze. Jem in the Cornishman. 
Oozle, or Oozle-pipe. The windpipe. 
Ore-dresser. One who superintends the dressing 

operations of a mine, and is called the captain of the 

" floors," also "grass captain." e.n. 
Ore-plot. The place for depositing the dressed ore. 

Oreweed Sea weed. See Flote-ore. 

Orrel. A raised wooden porch or balcony of a house 
above the cellar, and approached by outside steps. 

Organs, or Orgal. Penny royal. Mentha lyulegium. 

much used for " organ tay," (tea). 
OrtS. Leavings, scraps, fragments, as of food, (*^c. This 

word is always plural. " The fractious of her faith, 

oris of her love " ShaJcspere. 

"Thou son of crumbs and orts." B. Johnson. 
Outlander. A foreigner. 
Out of Core. Working " out of core," i.e., employing 

the spare time after the regular period of woi'k. 

Out-winder. A bow window. 

2 I'D 
Overgone. "Done up," exhausted, fatigued. 
Overlooked. Bewitched, under the influence of the 
" evil eye." " Thou wast o'erlooked." 

Shakspere, in the Merry Wives of Windsor. 
Ovice, or Ovvice. The eaves of a house. 
Over nigh. Near to, close up to. " Ovver nigh by 
the dear." 

Owners, or Awners. See Adventurers. 

Padal, or Padel. A dish, a pan. It is a Celtic 
Cornish word. 

Paddick, or Pattick. A small brown pitcher hold- 
ing one or two quarts. 

Paddle. A weeding tool with a long handle and a 
narrow blade. 

Padgy-paw, Pagety-paw, Paget-e-poo, or 

Padzher-pOU. Names for a newt, eft, lizard. 
In Celtic Cornish ])achar means four, and paiv a foot. 
Literally, four-footed. 
Pair. A company of men working together on the 
same bargain, pitch, or take, in a mine. 

Palch, Palchy, Palched. Broken down in health, 
very frail and delicate in constitution. The writer 
has often heard it used thus, " He is very palchy." 
"He is very much palched." Palch is a Celtic Cornish 
word and means, weak, sickly, amending, poorly. 

Pallace. A cellar for the balking (bulking) of pil- 
chards. In Celtic Cornish, imlas, means to dig or 
delve. The word probably meant originally, a place 

dug out. (Pallace is by Phillips derived from pallida, 
pales or paled fences. In Devonshire it means a 
storehouse ; in Totness, " a landing place enclosed but 
not roofed in," according to a Lease granted by the 
corporation of Totness in 1703. Breicefs Didy.) 

Pan bed. See Hoppety bed. 

Fanes. Parsnips. This is a Celtie Cornish word, 
panan, a parsnip, panes, or ][)anez, parsnips. 

Pannier-crooks. See Crooks. 

Pan-crock. A large, brown, earthen pan. 
Panshion. A milk pan. M.A.c. 
Park. An enclosure, a field. Pare is a Celtic Cornish 
word for the same. 

Parrick. A little jug. t.w.s. 

Pasher. A clumsy workman. T.C. 
Patch-hook. A bill-hook. M.A.C. 
PattiC. A simpleton, a fool. 

Pawse. A cold that runs at the nose. Policheh. From 
the Celtic Cornish paz or pas, a cough. 

Peach. Chlorite. A bluish green soft stone. A lode 

of this stone is called "a Peachy lode." 
Peart. Brisk, lively. (Pearh, Spenser.) 
Peas. The hard roe of fishes. 

Peson, or Paisen. Pease. This is the old plural 
form. In Celtic Cornish pes means poase, pulse. 
Peson. Chaucer. 

Pedalincan. The great cuttle fish. H.E.C. 
Pednan. Small pieces of turf. Davy, Zennor. 

Pedn-paley. The tom-tit. (Blue-tit. M.A.c.) This 

is a Celtic Cornish word, ijcdn, a head ; p'^ihj, satin, 

or velvet. 
Pedn-borbas. Cods' head. B.Y. Celtic Cornish. 

(Pedn barvas. Pnjce.) 
Peecher. A bait, an allurement. b.y. 
Peel. A pillow. PoJidiele. Pih':e, Saxon. 
Pelf or Pilf, Pelfy or Pilfy. See Pluff, and Pluffy. 
Pelt. In a pet, passion, or hurry, " Back he comes in 

a reg'lar pelt." 

Peendy, or Pindy. Tainted. Used of animal food 
going, or gone bad. 

Peeth. A well. M.A.C. (Wit; Pesthy, witty). 
Prize. See Pize. Peise. Chaucer. 
Peizen, or Pizen. Weights. Peizer. a weigher. 
Pellar. A conjurer, a cunning man. 

Pellow-bere, or Pillow-bere. A pillow case. 

Pehce-bere. Chaucer. 

Pelch, or Pilch. A three cornered clout, or napkin 
used for infants. Brewer, (Dicty. of Phrases) calls it 
" The jlannel napkin of an infant." Saxon, pjlcliCy a 
skin coat. Pilche, Chaucer. 

Penny-cake. The leaves of navel-wort. Children 
pluck and string them to resemble a pile of pennies. 

Pezac. A pilchard with a broken back, w.c.B. In 

Celtic Cornish pesach means rotten. 
Piffed. Slightly affronted, or vexed. See Tiffed. 
Pigol, or Piggal. A pick-axe. A large hoe for 

cutting turf. Pigol is a Celtic Cornish word. 

Piggy-pie. See Taddago pie. Pigrnj-\ne is not 

exactly pork-pie as generally made, and is now pro- 
bably an obsolete dainty, just as is Lamby, or 

Piggy- whidden. Piggy-wiggy, or the smallest pig of 
the litter. The little ivhite pig. In Celtic Cornish 
whidn, gwiden, or gwyn, white. 

Pig's-CrOW. A Pig-sty. Crow, is Celtic Cornish and 
means a hovel, hut, sty. 

Pile. A lot, a plenty, as " a pile of money." 

Pilcher. Pilchard. The Clvpea pilchardus of natur- 
alists. They call pilchards gipsy herrings in Scotland. 
As is well known pilchards are taken in immense 
quantities on the Cornish coast, large shoals some- 
times make their appearance on the Southern coast 
of Ireland, and about 90 years ago, a tolerably 
good fishery was there carried on. Pilchards are also 
taken off the French coasts but not in large quan- 
tities. These fish also frequent the coast of Spain, 
but not in great numbers as on the Cornish coast. 
"The merchantes that do deale in this commoditie 
of pilchards, as doe divers Londoners, vent them in 
sundrie places. In Fraunce they utter their pickled 


pilchardes, now not known but in domestic use, 
and suche as they pack in hogsheades and other 
caske, wher they are receyved as a verie welcome 
reliefe to the sea coaste of that kingdome, and 
from the coaste revented to their great profit in the 
inland townes. 

All this trade into France is now gone. The 
dryed ware they carrye into Spain, Italie, Venice, and 
divers places within the Straytes. "Norden, A.D 1584, 
quoted by "Whitaker (Anc. Cath. of Cornw. Vol. 2, p. 
249, note.") (In Celtic Cornish, Hernan and Llean, a 
pilchard; Heme, pilchards; and Allec, herrings, pil- 
chards. Borlase.) 

Piler. " A farm instrument used to pound or cut the 
beards from barley in Minnowing." b.v. 

Fillers. Tufts of long grass, rushes, &c. M.A.C. The 
name seems derived from the hillocky appearance of 
large tufts of grass or rushes. Pil in Celtic Cornish 
means a hillock. 

Pill. A pool, a creek. 

PlUaS, Plllls, or Pellas. Naked oats, bald, bare, or 
naked oats without husks. Dr. Paris. Avena nuda. 
Piles, or Pilez in Celtic Cornish means bare, bald. 
Also called Pill-corn. (Pilled, or piled, bald. Chancer.) 
Polwhele, (a.d. 1803), says of it that "it is still used 
in several places," and describes it as a "small yellow 
grain . . . and for fattening calves accounted superior 
to any other nourishment." 


Pillion. The tin which remains in the scoria or slags 
after it is first smelted, which must be separated and 
re-melted. Pryce. 

Pillum, Pillem, or Pllm. Dust. Film is a Celtic 
Cornish word, and means according to Pryce, " dust 
flying like flour." 

Pil-jack, or Piliack. A low, mean fellow. 

Davy, Zennm: 

Pimpey. A weak cider made by adding water to the 
apple ''cheese." Q.V. It is also called "beverage." Q.v. 

Pin, or Pin-bone. The hip. The hip-joint. Pen- 
dim is the Celtic Cornish word for the hip-joint. 
Pen the head, and dun, the hip, or haunch. 

Pinnick, or Punick. An undergrown weakly child. 

Pinnickin. Very small and weakly. " What a poor 
pinnickin child ! " 

Pinni-menny. This was, (and is now by a few) the 
name given to the little chapel-well near Trenance 
bridge, St. Austell. Young people wanting to know 
their fortune, dropped pins into the well and "wished." 
Menny, or Mynny, in Celtic Cornish means, to will, to 

Bernard Quaritch, in a review of Elton's " Origins 
of English History," says, "There is ample proof 
that the pin is not a mere offering to the spirit of the 
well, such as a rag, a pebble, or a small coin might 
be, but is flung in by way of curse, to injure the 


person who is present in the mind at the time the 
pin is thrown in. It is a companion superstition to 
that of sticking pins into a wax image, an animal's 
heart, an orange, or an apple, which is prevalent over 
a great part of the world. A pin is, speaking myth- 
ologically, a deadly thing, perhaps because it is a 
spear or dagger in miniature; a prick from one is 
more dangerous than from a needle or a splinter of 
wood, because it gives the sufferer the ' evil humours' 
of the person who has carried it on his person. In 
Iceland, if there is any fear that a dead person's 
spirit will walk, pins are driven into the soles of the 
corpse's feet. 

Pin-tail. A person who is very small and narrow in 

the hips. 
Pip. A disease among chicken. 
Pipe, or Bunny of ore. A great collection of ore 

without any vein coming into, or going from it. 

Piran. Intoxicated. " He was Piran last night." This 

is a slander on St. Piran, who is traditionally said to 

have died drunk, yet, says Carew, " if legend lye not 

he lived 200 years and died at Piran." 
Piran broad-cloth. The rush mats made there. 

Pirl. To whirl, twirl, or twist around. 

Piskey. A fairy. The common clothes moth is also 
so called from some old superstition. In Eobt, Hunt's 
delightful book, "The Komances of the West of 


England," are names of the various kinds of fairies, 
viz : 1, — The small people. 2. — The Spriggans. 3. — 
The Piskies or Pigseys. 4. — The Buccas, Bockles, or 
Knockers. 5. — The Browneys. (Pisky is Celtic 
Cornish for Fairy. Borlase.). 

Piskey feet or Pixies' feet. See Pysgy pows. 

Piskey-led. Said of one bewildered, confused, or 
who has lost his way. " He's like anybody piskey- 

Piskey-StOOl. A mushroom. 

Pit-work. The part of the mine machinery which is 
placed in the shafts or levels. e.n. 

Pitch. A bargain of work in a mine. 

Pitch, pitch, butterfly ! An invocation by which 
children hope to catch a butterfly, thus " Pitch, pitch, 
butterfly, down low, down low." 

Pitch to. To set about a thing in real earnest. 

Pitch-haired, or Pitchy-haired. A rough staring 
coat, as of a horse in cold weather. 

Pitch up to. To make advances, as in "making love." 

Pize, Pise, Peize, or Peise. To weigh. In Corn- 
wall it means generally, to estimate or guess the 
weight of a thing by holding it in the hand, as " I've 
a pized et," i.e., I have handled it, or lifted it so as 
to judge the weight. Peise. Chaucer. (Peysen, 
peisexi, weights. M.A.C.) 


Planchin, or Planchen. A plank or wood floor. 
In "Ardeu of Feversbam" is this expression "Whilst 
on the planchers." In Celtic Cornish j-'^cmJcoi, or 
phjnhen, means a plank, a board. 

Plashet, or Ploshet A moist, watery place. A 

Plat. A plot, or small piece of ground. (In Celtic 

Cornish, j;/a/ means flat, also in Chaucer.) 
Platted down. Flattened down, pressed down. 
Plat-footed. Flat-footed, splay-footed. Plat or platte. 

Chcmcer. Plat is a Celtic Cornish word meaning flat, 


Plethan. To braid, or plait. Pohvhele. (In Celtic 
Cornish it is plegije). 

Pliskin. An egg-shell. A Celtic Cornish word. 

Plodj or plad. Plaid, or check-pattern. 
Plosh. A puddle, a messy, dirty place. Plos is a 
Celtic Cornish word for dirt, filth, &c. 

Plosher. A half grown bream. M.A.c. 

Ploshy. Splashy, sloppy, wet and miry. In Celtic 
Cornish ^Zosec, foul, filthy. 

PlufF, Pelf, or Pilf. Fine, or broken fragments of fur, 
feathers, &c. Also the fur or fine hairy coat of an 
animal, as of a hare, Sec. In Celtic Cornish pluven 
means a feather, a pen, pUv or pluv, feathers, and 
flufoc, a bolster. 


Fluff, Fluffy, or Floffy. Soft and spongy like a 
dric'd up turnip. " Feeling pluffy " means poorly, 
"out of sorts." 

Flum. Anything soft and springy, as a pillow, cushion, 
&c., also leavened, as "the dough is plum." 

A Cornishman would not say mud was plum, yet if 
he fell on it he would say that " he fell plum," To 
"fall plum" is understood as contrary to " fall hard." 
" To plum up," is to swell up like leavened dough 
which is then said to be "plum" or "light." "To 
plum up" also means the resumption of the former 
state after pressure is removed, as of a pillow which 
" plums up " again. The shaking up of a bed, or a 
pillow, is to "plum up," the bed, or pillow, i.e., 
render them soft. The word ])lum meaning elsewhere 
£100,000, or a "nice plum," was formerly spelt 
plumb, and refers to one who is, " pretty well oflF for 
tin." Tin by the ancient Romans was called j^iumbum 
album. Pluman is the Celtic Cornish word for the fruit 
plum, and|:»/om or ])lobm for lead, 

Plummill. The yeast mixed with the flour for leav- 
ening, is called so. 

Foam. To pummel, to thump, to beat, "poamen well," 
(Pcmme, the palm of the hand. Chaucer.) 

Foaming. A pummelling. 

Fock. A push, a shove. Poc, or Pock is Celtic Cornish. 
See Pool. 

Poddlin. Poking about, meddling. 


Podar. Mundic, pyrites. In Celtic Cornish ijodar 
means rotten, corrupt ; mundic ; ugly. 

Borlase's Corn. Vocah. 

" Upon the first discovery of Copper ore, says Dr. Paris, the 
miner to whom its nature was entirely unknown gave it the 
name of poder (podar) ; and it will hardly be credited in 
these times, when it is stated that he regarded it not only as 
useless, but upon its appearance was actually induced to 
abandon the mine, the common expression upon such an 
occasion was that the ore came in and spoilt the tin." 

The writer when a boy used to hear aged men speak of 
copper ore (thought to be podar or mundic) having been used 
to mend the roads. 

"About the year 1735, saysDr, Paris, Mr. Coster, mineral- 
ogist of Bristol, observed this said podar among the heaps of 
rubbish, and seeing that the miners were wholly unacquainted 

with its value he entered into a contract to buy all he 

could get, and no doubt he found it a profitable transaction." 

Podge. A short fat person, '•' quite a podge." 

Podgy. Short, thick, and fat. 

Pokemen. Stupid, clumsy, "such pokemen waj^s," 
(Podging. M.A.C.) 

Poldavy. A very coarsely woven linen cloth. Sail 
cloth was formerly called PowU-davies. 

Polled. Beheaded, used of fish. Pohchele. 

Pollet, or Polleck. A crooked stick, knobbed at one 
end. w.F.p. Polyn. A stick, b.v. 

Polrumptions. Uprorious, restive. 

Pomster. A quack. In Celtic Cornish it is spelt 
lyonster, meaning quackery, giving improper medicines. 


Poochin. Shoving, poking in the way. " What be'ee 
poochin like that vur ] " (Potch. Shahpere.J 

PoOChy, or PoOChy-mOUth. The lips very promi- 
nent and thick. 

Pooching. Making a mouth at any one. 

Pook. A heap of hay, or turf. It is a Celtic Cornish 

Pooled. Splitting granite "is effected by applying 
several wedges to holes cut, or pooled as it is termed, 
in the surface of the stone, at a distance of three or 
four inches from each other." Dr. Paris. 

Poor. Tainted, turned sour, decayed, rotten. 

Poor as a coot. In great poverty. (Coot, the bird 
F'uUca atra.J 

Poor tipple. Small beer and such like drink. 

Poot. To thump, to kick. This is a Celtic Cornish 

word, as also, j^ook and poulc. 
Pop and tOUSe. A general row. All sorts of oaths. 

In Celtic Cornish j^oj), every ; and tos, to swear. 

Pop-docks, or Poppies. The fox-glove. Digitalis 
purpurea. ('C'or/i-poppy is the name for the common 
red poppy.) 

Pope. A puffin. M.A.C. 

Popple, or Bobble. A pebble. 

Por, or Poar. Hurry, fuss, agitation. " What a poar 
you'm in ! " 


Porbeagle. A small kind of shark. Boiiase. 

Porf. A pool of stagnant Avater. M.A.c. 

Porvan. A rush wick for a lamp. M.A.C. 

Posh. Phlegm oppressing the breathing. Polwhele. 
Pose. Chaucer. In Celtic Cornish pos means heavy. 

POSS, poss up, or possed up. To stand up, to 
" stick up," leaning against a wall or a post. " Theer 
a stonds possed op, lookin like a vool." Pos. A 
post, is Celtic Cornish. 

Post groats. "in the time of Henry 8th there were 
two coinages (of tin) in a year, viz ; at Midsummer 
and Michaelmas, but two more were added at Christ- 
mas and Ladyday for the conveniency of tinners, for 
which they paid as an acknowledgment four pence for 
every hundred of white tin then coined." The duty 
to the Duke of Cornwall being four shillings for 
every hundred weight of tin coined, Borlase. See 

Coining tin. 

Powdered. Slightly sprinkled with salt, corned. 

Pots. The bowels ; wooden panniers for carrying 
manure on an animal's back, dung pots. 

Pot-crooks. The second form in learning to write, 
next to making strokes. Pot-hooks. 

Pot grouan. Soft granite-like ground in which it is 
easy to drive an adit. Pryce. 

Pot-ground. A miner's term for loose ground. 


Pot-guidn. White pudding. PolwheU. It is Celtic 

Cornish. Pot, pudding ; giiidn, white. 
Power. A great deal, a great number, as " a power 

of good," "a power of people." 

Power. The fish Gadus minutus. c. 
Preedy. On an even balance, as with a scales, C. 
Preedy. Easily, creditably. " Putty preedy." 
Preventive men. Coast guard men. 
Preventive station. Coast guard station. 

Pride of the country. A miner's term. •' When 
ore is found near the surface, at a level where it is 
rarely met with, and in great abundance and very 
rich; also when a bunch of ore is found out of a 
lode like stones scattered in a quarry, they say, " It 
is the pride of the country." Pryce. 

Pridy, or Preedy. Proud, handsome. 

Prid-prad, Priden-prall. See Pednpaley. 

Prill. V. To mix, to turn off sour, to get tipsy or half 

Prill. A small bit, or quantity. 
Prilled, or Prill. Half drunk. " He's prilled." 
Prilling a sample. Giving a false sample of the ore. 


Prince-town college. A facetious name for Dart- 
moor prison. 


Prinked up, or Prinkt up. Dressed up in fine 
clothes. "Dressed to tlie nines." PranU, Spenser. 
Prinking along. Walking in an affected manner. 
Prong. A silver fork ; a hay fork. 

Proper. Prim, handsome. " Being so proper." 

Shakspere in King Lear. 
Proud flesh. Overgrowth of the flesh in a healing 

Prophecy table. For casting the matrimonial horo- 









Rich man. 


Poor man. 






Pryan lode. A flookan lode, as a soft clayey vein of 
tin. In Celtic Cornish pryan ox prian means, clayey 

Pudlock. A short beam for supporting the planks of 
a scaffold. One end in the wall, the other tied to the 
scaffold pole. 

Pullan. This is a Celtic Cornish word, meaning a pit, 
a pond. (A salt water pool m.a.c.) 


Pull-cronack. A small fish found in salt water pools; 
bully-cods, the shanny. M.A.C. Pul, ox pjl, is Celtic 
Cornish for pond, &c., but croncc means a toad. See 


Pul-rose. The wheel-pit. This is a Celtic Cornish 
word ; pul or pol, a pit, etc., and ros, a wheel. Spelt 
Poul-roz by Pryce ; and Pul-roz by Borlase. 

Punick. See Pinnick. 

Punnion-end, or Punkin-end. The gable end of 

a house. 

Pure, or Pur. Very, quite. This is a Celtic Cornish 
word, (Pure, mere, very, Chaucer.) "He's pure 
and fat," i.e., He's very fat. 

Purgy. Thick in stature, fat, as " a purgy little chap," 
" a purgy pig." 

Purl, "Watch, " on the purl," i.e., on the watch, 

Purser. The financial agent for a mine. 
Purt. A niff, a tiff. " He has taken a purt." C. 

Purt'ns, Purtens, or Port ens. The heart, liver, 
and lungs of an animal. 

Purvan. Shreds of cloth, w.f.p. Purvans. b.v. 
See Porvan. 

Put going. Murdered. 

Put horn, home or hum. Shut or close, as "put 
horn the door." 


Pye. Blocks of tin when formerly adulterated by- 
lumps or pieces of iron being enclosed in the centre, 
were called pye. Tonkin. They say that by the old 
Stannary laws a person convicted of this fraud was 
made to swallow three spoonfuls of melted tin. It 
was a certain cure. 

Pysgy-pows, or Pixies' feet. "Ridge-tiles are 
placed on houses in West Cornwall, having a round 
knob on them. The people say they are for the 
pixies to dance on ; and that if you omit to place 
one for their amusement they will turn the milk 
sour." JV. C. Borlase, in the JFestern Antiquary. 

Quab. Sickly, infirm. Garland. {Quad or quade, bad, 
and also quappe to tremble, to quake, are in Chaucer.) 

Quaddlin. A semi-imbecile, stupid manner. 

Quaff. (Pron. quaif ) To puff" up. M.A.C. 

Quaiffed, or Quatted. Satisfied, full. M.A.C. 

Quail. To wither. Quailed. Withered, as in 
speaking of flowers. 

Quailing. A sinking sensation in the stomach. 

Qualk. A heavy fall. " I came down with a qualk." 

Quarantine. A bright red apple. 

Quarry, or Quarrel. A pane, or square of glass. 

Quat. To squat, to flop down, to flatten down. 

Quandary. Perplexity, uncertainly, in a wandering 
state of mind. In Celtic Cornish qiiandrd means, to 
walk about, to wander; but this is borrowed from 
the English. 


Quarey. " "When a lode or stratum breaks in large 

hard rocks, being jointed as it were, it is called a 

quarey lode or stratum, from its joints or qiidres." Pryce. 
Queedy. Shrewd. M.A.C. Perhaps from the Celtic 

Cornish qucfhc', to work or labour at. 
Queens, or Gweans. Scallops. (Perriwinkles. 

Queer. A mining term. "A queer of ground." A 

square piece of ground. (1) St. Just. See Quarey. 
Quiddles. Foolish faucies. 

Quiddlin. Same as Quaddlin. Q.v. 

QuignogS. Eediculous fancies, or conceits. 
Quilkin, Quilkey, or Quilkquin. A frog. See 

Wilkin. lu Celtic Cornish it is kivilken, guilkin, or 


Quillaway, or Quailaway. A stye, or small 

abscess on the eyelid. Hordeohirn. 
Quillet. Three leaved grass, clover. BottreU. 
Quilter. Flutter, flurry, agitation of mind. "She 

was all in a cpiilter." 
Quilting. A severe thrashing. 
Quinted. Animals over filled with food are quinted. 
Quishin. A cushion. This word is in Chaucer. 
Quoit. A broad thin stone or rock. It is a Celtic 

Cornish word. The Cromlech at Lanyoii is called the 

"Giant's quoit." The large table stone resembling a 

disciLS or quoit. 


Quoits. A game played with roundish but flat stones, 

thrown at a mark or place. Once very common. 

(Quoit or Koeten, in Celtic Cornish, means a broad 

thin stone, or rock. Borlase.) 
Rab. Granite rubble. 
Rabban. Miner's term for a "yellowish dry stone 

resembling gossa)]." Pryce. 

Rabbet et ! or Od Rabbet et ! An exclamation, 

as if to say, " Confound it." 
Rabble. An iron rake for stirring and skimming off 

copper ore in calcination and melting. Pryce. 

Rabblerash. A dirty, noisy mob. " The great un- 
washed." Eubbishy stuff. 
Rabble-fish. Inferior fishes. 

Race. To place things in a row. Also, to string things 

together, as "a race of onions." 
Race. A go cart. M.A.c. 

Radgell. An excavated tunnel. The IF. Briton. 

Rafe or Raffe. To tear or rend. 

Raff, or Raffle. Poor stuff, anything scrappy and 

Raffain. Raff. Raffain ore. Poor ore of no 

value. Pryce. 

Ram-cat. A "Tom" cat. 

Rames. The skeleton, as, '-'the rames of a goose." 

J-W. Lostwithiel 


Rag. A large, irregular, slate roofing stone. 
Rag-pump. A chain pump. 

Ramper. Playful. CalUngton. 

Ramping. In great pain, as a "ramping tooth ache"; 

also raging. "A ramping lion rushed suddenly." 

Spenser's Faery Queene. 

Ramping and roving. in a state of almost unbear- 
able pain. 

Randigall. A long, rambling story. 

Randivooze. A resort; also, an uproar, "a putty 
randivooze up there." (Rendezvous. French.) 

Ranter's jace. A "wild goose" errand. A ramb- 
ling hunt, or search, or chase. 

Ranter go round. An old fashioned game of cards 
so called. M.A.C. 

Rany. A ridge of rocks which is bare at half-tide. C. 

Ranny. A wren. 

" Those who kill a robin, or a -wTen, 
Will never prosper, boy or man." 

Rap and rind. "By hook or crook." F.C. 

Rare. Flesh, meat, underdone. Half raw ; any eat- 

iible thing early in the season is rare. See Rear. 
Rash. Brittle, as applied to wood; or crisp, as of 

Raunin, or Raunish. Hungry, ravenous. He's 

got a raunin appetite." (Spenser used the word 

royne, to bite or gnaw.) 

Raw-milk. The milk as it comes from the cow. 
Raw-ream, or Ravz-Cream. The cream of milk 

not scalded. 
Reamer. A flat, perforated, shovel like skimmer, for 

removing clotted cream from "scalded" milk. 
Rear. Early. (So used also by Milton and Shakspere. 


Red-knot wheat. So called from the colour of the 
joints and husks. Tonkin. 

Red-rabb. Red killas. Pryce. 

Reed. The unbruised stalks of corn, so called in the 

Reeming. Stretching and yawning together. 
Re en. A steep hill side. M.A.C. 

Reese, or Reeze. Overripe, ripe corn shedding the 
grains is said to reese. M.A.C. 

Reeving. Sifting so as to separate various sized grains 

from each other. 
Ridar. A sieve, a riddle. (Riclar a kazJw.) A sieve 
is still called a easier. Pryce. 

Riders, or " The riders." Circus equestrians. 
Rig, or Rigs. Fun, frolic, uproar, fuss. 

Riggle, or Riddle. To poke up, or to stir up the 
fire, also to rattle out, as, "Kiggle up the fire," 
" Ptiggle out the fire." 

Ringle. To ring, to tinkle. 


Rise in the back. To work upwards towards the 
surface in iiiining. 

Rising of the lights. -An hysterical or choking 

feeling in the throat. A ball in the throat. Glohus 

Roaring. Blubbering. Crying aloud with tears. 

Robin's alight. A game of forfeits played before 
the fire, by whirling a burning stick around. It is so 
moved and passed from one to another. The one 
who last holds it as the fire in the stick goes out, 
pays the forfeit. 

Rock basins. Round, or oval cavities of various 
sizes on the surface of granite rocks. Most rock 
basins are on a level, some on a sloping, and a very 
few on a perpendicular face of the rock. These basins 
are formed by the gradual action of water long resting 
on the rock in little pools, causing disintegration in 
the form of a more or less shallow basin. Some 
basins are so artificial in appearance, that antiquaries 
have thought them wrought out so as to be pools of 
lustration. Some of these basins may have been 
altered, but they are almost entirely of natural for- 
mation, whatever their Druidical uses may have been. 
" Quid magis est saxo durum, — Quid mollius unda. 
Dura tamen moli saxa cavantur aqua." Ovid. 

Rode. Gumption, sense, nouse. 

Rodeling, Roodling, or Rodeless. Hesitating 
and uncertain in manner, vaccillating, maundering 


and stupid. A dull stupid way of speaking, " Such 
roodling ways ! " In the Armoric language roddla 
means, to turn or wind about. 
Rod-shaft. The engine-shaft in a mine, in which 
are the rods of the pumping gear. 

Roper's news. News not new, being stale. East 

Cornwall saying. C. 
Ropy. A term applied to bread made with milsey 

flour. See Milsey. 
Rouan. The name of a good cider apple grown in the 

Lizard district. Bouan is Celtic for Eoman. 

Rory-tory. Anything vulgar in design, or colour. 

Round or RoundagO. An ancient circle of stones or 
earth. " It is said the priests (Druids) danced within 
an enclosure of stones, moving sideways in imitation 
of the dragon, or serpent. This means they danced 
within a "round" of which there are remains in 
Cornwall." Hogg's Fab. Hist, of Cormvall. 

Polwhele describes it thus — " Roundugo, a circle 
of stones standing erect or piled in a wall-like form 
without mortar. Stone circles, originally pagan, were 
probably used by the Christian Cornish for their 
miracle plays and dances." Polwhele (Hist, of Corn- 
wall, vol. 2. p. 84.) also says that the rounds were 
" probably places of meeting of the general stannary 
assemblies," (in the same manner Crockern Torr in 
Dartmoor was the seat of assembly for the tinners 


of Devon ; and the place of general assembly for the 
tinners bofh of Devon and Cornwall was Heiigston 

Rounders. A game of bat and ball, somewhat like 
cricket, but with onh one batting place, from which 
there are three stations to run round by, before 
reaching the batting place again. 

Round robin. The angler fish. C. 

Roup. To drink, or gulp down fluid in a noisy manner. 

Rouse-about. See Stiracoose. 

Routing out. Turning out the holes and corners, 

cleaning up. 
Roving. In great pain. " A roving toothache." Also 

used thus, "roving mad." 
Row. Hough. " He loked wel roice." Chaucer, 
Row. Refuse from the ore stamping mills. E.N. 
Row-hound. The fish SquaJus canicuJa. C. 
Row-tin. The large grained rough tin. BorJase. 
Rud. Red. In Celtic Cornish rudh. 
Rudge. A partridge. Pohchele. 
Rouser. Something big, or resounding. 
Ruddock. A robin red-breast. Called also Rabbin, 

and Rabbin-redbreast. (Ruddock. Chaucer.) In Celtic 

Cornish it is Ruddoc. Eydhic, means reddish, in this 

Ruinate. Ruined, overthrown. Spenser used this word. 

Rumbustious. Noisy, cantankerous. 

Rummage. Rubbish, odds and ends, a rubbishy lot 

of things. Confusion or disorder. 
Rummet. Dandriff. See Scruff. "The child's 

head is full of rummet." 
Rumped up. Feeling cold and miserable, " rumped 

up with the cold." See Scrumped Up. 

Rumpy. Anything coarse and uneven, as of cotton 

Rumpin. The same as Jumpin. Q.v. 

Run. A mining term meaning a fall of loose ground 

after an excavation. 
Runner. A round towel on a roller. 

Runky. Hoarse, wheezy breathing. In Celtic Cornish 

renkia means, to snore, to snort. 
Running ground. Loose, sandy, or soft ground, 

which falls in just as fast as it is excavated 

Runnin. (Rennet. M.A.C.) Melted fat. 

Running-wound. A wound discharging matter. 

Rush, or Rish. " Beginning a new rush," i.e., turning 
over a new leaf, commencing a fresh score. 

Russell's wagon. "As big as Russell's wagon." A 
saying. This was a huge vagon for the conveyance 
of goods and passengers, drawn by 6, 8, even 10 
great horses, with tinkling bells. It took nearly a 
fortnight, (50 years ago) to go from Cornwall to 


London. Passengers sometimes slept in it on their 
own bedding, and made their wills before starting. 
The writer's own father has made wills for such 

Rustring comb. Dressing comb. A Sinking comb. 

Ruttlin. The sound of phlegm rattling in the bron- 
chial tubes. 

Ruxler, or Wroxler. A restless fidgety person, one 
continually shifting about, as on a seat. 

Sabby. Soft and wet. 

Saim, or Seym. Train oil, fat, grease. Celtic Cor- 
nish words. 

Sam, or Zam. Half-heated. A Sam oven, is one 

half-hot after bread has been baked in it, " Tell the 
baker to bake the biskeys (biscuits) in the sam oven." 

Sammy-Dawkin. A thickhead. A Padstow illus- 
tration of incapacity. " A regular Sammy Dawkin." 

Sampling. Testing the worth of the ores of a mnie. 

Sample. Soft, pliant. 

Sampler. A small square of canvas on which girls 

stitched letters and figures ; one who tests the value 

of mineral ores. 
Sampson. A drink of cider, brandy, and a little 

water, with sugar. M.A.C. 

Sam-sawdered, or Sam-sodden. Anything ill 

cooked, and insipid, especially if tepid, or "half hot." 


Sang, or Zang. A small sheaf such as that of a 
gleaner. c. 

Sape, or Sapey. See Zape. 

Saracens. "The Jews therefore denominated them- 
selves, and were denominated by the Britons of Corn- 
wall Saracens, as the genuine progeny of Sarah." 
Origin of Arianism, pp. 329 . . 325, quoted by Polwhele. 

Save-all. A large apron to cover and protect a child's 

Sawen. See Zawn. 

Say-fencibles. Sea-feucibles. The old coast-guard. 

Scabby-gullion, (b.v.) or Scabby-gulyun. (w.f.p.) 

A stew of cut up meat and potatoes. 
Scad. The horse mackerel. The shad. JBorhse. 

Seal, or Scale. See Schale. 

Scald cream. Clotted or clouted cream. 
Scald milk. Milk which has been heated and de- 
prived of the clotted cream. 

Scalpions. Dry salt fish, as salt whiting. h. 
Scaly. Grumpy, ill-tempered, miserly. 

Scammed. See Trowled. 

Scamp. To do work badly, or with inferior, or scanty 

Scarf. A joint. Scarfe. To join. They are Celtic 
Cornish words, "My a'n scarf yn ta whare." I 
will soon join it well. 


Scarlet runners. Kidney-bean plants. 

Scat. A slap. "I'll giv'ee a scat in the faace;" a sharp 

frost, as, "a scat of frost;" diarrhoea; anything 

burst or broken open. Scat is a Celtic Cornish word 

and means a buffet, a box, a blow. 
Scat. V. To slaj), to break, to smash, to be bankrupt. 
Scat-marchant. One who has failed in business. 

It was formerly a term of great contemjit, and the 

boys even mobbed a scat-marchant. Noiv he is 

" white-washed " not mobbed. 
Scat abroad. Burst open, smashed, " Tes oal scat 

abroad." A SCat tO, a " set to," or quarrel. 
Scaval-an-gOW. Chattering, confused talking. Scaval- 

an-gow (Cornish) the bench of lies. u.J.T. Scavel 

is Celtic Cornish for, a bench, a stool, and gow, a 

falsehood, a lie. 

Scavarnoeck, Skavarnak, or Scovarnog. 

Celtic Cornish names for a hare. Scovarnog is the 
oldest form of the word. (Long eared, still used in 
Cornwall. Polwhele.) 

Scaw. Elder or scaw trees. Scawen. An elder 

tree. Scaw and scaiven are Celtic Cornish words. 
Scawsy-budS. Elder flowers. 
Schale. A scale, as a "schale of earth," or earth slide 

in an excavation. 
Sclum, Sclow, or ScrOW. To sclaw, to scratch, as 

" the cat will sclum you," also used thus, " Ah ! you 

old sclum-cat." i.e., you old spite. 

Scoad, or Scud. To spill, to shed, to pour, to scatter. 
ScOCe. To exchange, to barter. c. 
Scoanes. The pavement, the stones. See Coanse. 


Scollucks. Refuse of a slate quarry. Delabole. C. 
Scollops. The remains of pig's "mord," Q.V. 

from which the fat has been melted out. Also called 

scollop fat, and ^^ scrolls." 

Scouring-geard. A soft china-stone granite used as 
sand for scouring, or for whitening floors. M.A.C. 

Scovan lode. A tin lode. Only in contra-distinction 
to all other lodes. Fryce. 

Scove. Tin stuff so rich and pure, that it needs but 
little cleansing. Pryce. 

Scovy. Looking smeared and blotchy, as a badly or 
unevenly painted surface. 

Scoy. Thin, poor, as applied to silks or stuflfs ; small, 
insignificant, " for my wages would look scoy." tj.j.t. 
Perhaps from the Celtic Cornish sJcez, a shade, a 
shadow. In Manx, scaa. 

Scrabble. To scramble. 
Scragged. Strangled. 

Scranny. To scramble, to contend, to strive. In 

Celtic Cornish it i 

Scranching, Scrunching. Crushing a hard sub- 
stance between the teeth. 


Screech. A short sudden blaze. "Some tarn fuzz 
for a screech." 

Screech like a whit-neck. To make a great out- 

Screed. A scrip, or very small bit. Also a very thin 
person, " Looking like a screed." 

Screedle. To cower over the fire. U.J.T. See 

Screw. The shrew or field mouse. C. 
Scriff-SCraff. Eummage, a lot of trumpery things. 
Scrimp, or Scrimpy. Scant, scanty, 
Scrinkt. Screwed. U.J.T. 

Scrinking, or Scrinked up. Peeping about with 

(screwed up) half-closed eyes, and puckered mouth. 
In Celtic Cornish, scryncye, means to snarl, to grin. 

Scrip. To escape. Carew. " He will never scrip it." 

Scritch. A crutch. 

Scroached, Scrawed, or Scrowled. Scorched 

or broiled, as " scroached pilchards." Before being 
scroached, they are split, half dried, peppered, and 

Scrolls. See Scollops. 

Scrolled. Same as Scroached. Qv. 
Scrow. See Solum. 


Scrowl. "When a lode is interrupted and cut off by 
a cross-gossan, it may sometimes be found again by the 
tendency of some loose stones of the true lode in the 
body of the gossan, ie., a scroiol.'' Fryce. 

Scrowling. Scratching. 

Scrouge, Scrudge, or Scrooge. To squeeze, as 

in a crowd, to crowd together, {scruze, squeeze out, 
press out. Sjjenser.) " We cud haardly scrouge room 
for to stond in the fair." 

Scruff. Dandriff. See Rummet. 

Scruff. The nape of the neck. The scrag. 

SrufF. V. To scuffle, to struggle. "We scruffed to- 

Scruffy. Rough and scaly. 

Scruffy-head. A head full of dandriff. A term also 
of contempt, " old scruffy-head." 

Scrumped, or Scrumped up. The same as 
shrumped, and rumped- Q-V. In Celtic 
Cornish we have the word scruth meaning, a shiver. 

Scry. The report of the approach of a body of fish, as 
pilchards. Lelancl. c. In Celtic Cornish we have 
scrymha, an outcry. 

Scub-maw A " mess " of food," anything not cooked 
in an orthodox manner. Scraps, pieces, orts. Q-V. 

Scud. To spill, see Scoad; to crust over as does a 
sore. To scud OVer. To scab over. 

Scud. The dry crust or scab of a sore. 

Scndder. See Skitter. 

Scuffler. An agricultural implement for breaking up 
the clods after ploughing. CalUngton. 

Scule, ScOOl, or School. A shoal or large body of 
fish swimming together. 

Scullions. Onions. T.w.s. 

Scute. The metal shield (scutum, Latin) of the heel or 
toe of a boot or shoe. 

Sea-adder. The pipe-fish. 

Seam or Zeam. A cart or wagon-load of hay, manure, 

Seam of tin. A horse load, viz : two small sacks of 
black tin. Pryce. 

Searge. A sieve. Pryce. 

Seech, or Sych. Seech, "the rush of sea waves 
inundating the streets at high tides." Bonds Hist, of 
Looe. Sych, " the edge or foaming border of a wave 
as it runs up a harbour, or on the land." Couch. 
Lhuyd says that in the Armoric language gulab a sych 
means, wet and dry. Seek or Sych, dry, in Celtic 

Seed-lup, or Seed-lip. A sower's box or basket for 
holding the seed while sowing. 

Seine, or Sean. A pilchard net many hundreds of 
feet long. See Stop net. 


Seine boats. In iseining for pilchards three boats are 
einplo3^eil, viz : two large ones and a small one ; each 
large boat containing seven men, and in the small one 
are the master-seiner, another man, and two boys. 
The "Seine-boat" and the "Follower" are the names 
by which the two large boats are distinguished, and 
the small one is called the "Lurker." 

Semmee. It seems to me. This and the expression, 
"I seem," for, I think, is common along both banks 
of the Tamar, &c. 

Sett. Ground within the bounds of which a mine, or a 
clay-work &c., may be worked. 

Seven-sleeper, or Sound-sleeper. A speckled 

moth (Ermine moth,) is so called in Cornwall. 
Seym. Grease, train oil. This is a Celtic Cornish 

word. (Saim. Borlase.) 
Shacky. Shacky-fish. A small fish found in salt 

water pools, also called Goby and Slioky fish. 
Shag. The cormorant or sea raven. "As wet as a 

shag." Shagga. Pohvhele. 

Shale-stone, or Shellstone. Slate stone. 

Shallal. A serenade of kettles and pans. 

Shamedy. Confused and ashamed. 

Shammel. "A stage of boards used in old 'cofiins' 
before shafts were in common use. So they now 
call any stage of boards for shovelling of ore or 
' deads ' (rubble) upon, a shammel." Fryce. See 



Shammels. Stopes. A mining term. 

Shammel-whim. An engine for drawing the ore up 
over an inclined plane. 

Shammel-WOrking. " A method of working by an 
open mine where .... they followed the lode as far 
and to as great a depth as they were able to pur- 
sue it." Polwlide. 

Shammick. A low, mean, shuffling fellow. 

Shammick. To cheat, to act with low cunning. 

Shanny. The fish Bknnius pliolis. c. 

Shape, or Shaape. A bad state or condition. 
"Here's a putty shaape!" i.e.. Here's a mess! "What 
a shaape you'm in ! " i.e., What a mess ! 

Shenagrum. Rum, sugar, and lemon with hot beer. 


SheevO. " Such a sheevo." A form of the word chivvij 
meaning a fuss or row. 

Shell-apple. The cross-bill. Tonkin. 

Shell-stone. A slate stone. In Devon, shindle-stone. 

Shift. A form of displacement m a lode in which it 
has become disjointed. e.n. 

Shigged. Cheated. t.c. " Shigged out." 

Shiner. A sweet-heart. w.t.a.p. 

Shivver. One of the bars of a gate. 


Shodes, or Shoads. Scattered or dispersed parts 

from the "broil" (Q.V.) of a neighbouring mineral 
lode. (Perhaps from shutten, to pour forth. Borlase.) 

ShoaderS. Miners engaged in shoading. 

Shoading. Sinking pits and trying for the lode. 

Sheading heaps. Heaps from pits in the search for 
lodes. E.x. 

Sheading pits. Pits dug in the search for a lode. 
Shogg. To make a sifting movement, as in washing 

ore in water. Carew. 

Shong. A broken mesh. B.V. 

Short bob. A short, black or well seasoned clay pipe. 
Shot. A fish closely resembling a trout. Carew. 

Shrimmed. Chilled, u.j.t. 
Shrumped, or Shrumped up. Shivering with 


Shuffer. Full, stout, well. T.c. 

Shune. Strange. Carew. 

Shute. A channel of wood or iron for conveying a 
small stream of water. Also, the watering place 
where the women fill their pitchers from the "shute." 
Also, a small stream of water running from a shute 
or channel. 

Shut-hom. To close, as " shut-hom the door." 

Shutting or Shooting ground. Hard ground or 
rock recimring powder for blasting it. 

Sich. Such. It was also used by Spenser, 

Sigger, or Sigure. To leak. H.R.c. In Celtic Cor- 
nish siger means hollow, full of holes. 

Sight. A large number or quantity, as "a, sight of 
people," "a sight of money." 
"Where is so huge a syght of monj^" Acolastus 1540. 

Simmee, and I sim. See Semmee. 

Sissling. Moving uneasily in sleep. Garland. 

Sives. See Gives. 

Skainer. One who runs fast is said "to run like a 

Skal. Calling out. "You great skal." A term of 

abuse. Neivlyn. t.c. 
Skatereens. Shivereens, all in pieces. 
Skawd. See Scud. Spilt, scattered. CalUngton. 
Sky-blue. Milk and water mixed. 

Skedgwith^ or Skerrish. Privet. m.a.c. 
Skeer. See Skitter. To skim a stone on the water. 
Skeer. To skitter or skutter. q.v. 
Skeerin. Fluttering, flying about. 

Skeese, Skeyze, Skeyce, or Scouse. To frisk 

about, to run fast. In Celtic Cornish skesy means, 
to get free, to escape. 
Skellet, or Skillet. A brass pot with three short 
legs and a llattish handle, all of one casting. 

Skeeny. A sharp and gusty wind. c. 
Sker, or Skeer. To scrape or scramble down a place. 

"To come scraping down." To rub against. To 

abrade, as " Ive skerred my hand." 

Skerret, or Skivet. (c.) See Skibbet. 
Skerrish. Privet, c. See Skedgwith. 

Skerrimudge. It is not used of a scaramouch, or 
buffoon, in Cornwall, but is the name of a toy of a 
grotesquely human shape, the limbs of which are 
moved by a string so as to make strange antics. 

Skerry-Werry. A slight active person. " We seed 
little skerry-werry cut by Eawe's door." /. T. Tregellas. 

Skew. Thick drizzling rain. u.j.t. A driving mist. 
C. Probably from the Celtic Cornish word kuaz, a 
shower of rain. (To skew, to shun. Careiv.J 

Skibbet, Skivet, or Skerret. A small box fixed 

in one end of a larger one. " Look in the box and 
you'll find it in the skibbet." 

Skiddery. See Skittery. 

Skimp. To scamp. q.v. 

SkimpingS. The lightest and poorest part of the tin 
ore in the dressing of it. 

Skipper, or Hopper. A kind of insect infesting 

Skirt, or Skeert. Short. 

Skirtings. The diaphragm of an animal. 

Skit. A syringe, a squirt. 

Skit. The name given to a plant by boys who cut 

out portions of the hollow stems to make skits. 

(Also called Alexanders, or AUsanders. Smyrnium 

olusairum. C.) 
Skit. A mine pump used to raise water from a small 

depth. It is like a ship's pump. Pryce. 

Skit, or Skeet. To squirt. Also a mode or trick of 

expectorating by forcing out the saliva suddenly 

between the closed teeth at one of the corners of the 

Skitter. A track on ice or frozen snow for sliding (not 

skating) on. 
Skitter. One who slides. To skitter, (or shutter) a stone, 

is to make it hop and skim along the surface of water, 

to make " ducks and drakes." 
Skittery. Slippery, like ice, &c. 

Skivet. See Skibbet. 

Skove. The tinners say of a rich lode " 'tis all shove, 
or scove ; pure and clean. Celtic Cornish. Pryce. 

Skuat, or Skuit. A legacy, a windfall. " A skuat of 

Slack. Impudent talking. " Jaw." " Hold your slack." 
Slack, or Slacket. Slight, thin. 
Sladdocks. A cleaving and splitting tool for slate. 
Slag. Misty rain, sleet. M.A.c. 

Slam. To slap. (To trump, "I'll slam that card." 


Slams, Scrams. Scraps of meat. M.A.C. 
Slappin. Stalwart, big. " A slappin fellow." 

Slatter-CUm-drash. Uproar, confusion. "Knocking 
every thing about." 

Sleepy. A peculiar state of decay, as " sleepy wood " 
with a kind of white dry rot. Also used of linen 
when mildewed, or spotted by being kept too long 
damp. Also, stupid. " A sleepy-headed fellow." 

Sleuchin. Shambling, slouching. " A great sleuchin 

Slew, or Slewed. Twisted or canted round, or aside. 

Slewed. Intoxicated. " He's slewed." 

Sliddery. Slippery. {Slider, Chaucer.) 

Sligering, or Slaggering. (g. soft). A great row. 


Slim. Gi^-ing food too hot, " slims " the teeth. Pohchele. 
Sling. A dram. SlingerS. Invited guests. Garland. 

Slingers. Kettle broth made of boiling water, bread, 
salt, and pepper, with sometimes a little butter. 


Slintrim. An incline. M.A.C. In Celtic Cornish 
shjnUja means, to slide, to glide along. 

Slip. A young pig. Also, the outside cover of a pillow 
or a bolster. A pillow-slip, also, bolster case. 


Slock. To entice, to tempt, to induce, as when one 
boy slocks another to steal apples, or as with an 
unwilling dog, " slocke'n along." (To pilfer, to give 
privately. Polwhele.) 

Slocking bone. See Locking bone. 

Slocking stone. Pryce calls it (Mineralogia Cormi- 
Uensis) " a tempting, inducing, or rich stone of ore." 
Some miners produce good stones of ore, which 
induce those concerned to proceed, until they expend 
much money perhaps, and at last find the mine good 
for nothing, so, likewise there have been some in- 
stances of miners, who have deceived their employers 
by bringing them "slocking stones" from other mines 
pretending they were found in the mine they worked 
in, the meaning of which imposition is obvious." 

Slocum. A lagging, stupid, lazy fellow. "Come along 
old slocum." 

Slones. The fruit of the black thorn. Sloes. 

Slosh. To flush Avith, or splash water about. 

Sloshy. Wet and muddy. 

Slotter. A wet, dirty mess. To slotter. To make 
a mess. 

Slottery. In Celtic Cornish it is spelt slotkrce and 
means, rainy weather, foul and dirty, muddy; as 
*' slottery weather," " slottery roads." 

Slow cripple. A blind-worm. A slow-worm. 

Slow-six-legged walkers. Lice. Carew. 


Slummock. A dirty, slatternly woman. 

Slump. A careless workwoman. M.A.C. 

Slydom. Cunning. 

Small tin. Smaals, the miners call it. Finely pow- 
dered tin-stuff. See Floran (in the Addenda.) 

Smeech, or Smitch. A strong suffocating smell, as 
of burnt bones, feathers, &c. 

Smicket. A smock, a chemise, a shift, A woman's 
under garment. 

Smulk. A drunken dirty woman. M.A.C. 

Snaggle. A snag, or large and ill-formed tooth. "Snag- 
gly teeth," i,e., very irregular or ill-shaped teeth. 
Such are sometimes named " great snaggles." 

Snead. The handle of a scythe. c. 

Sneg. A small snail. c. 

Sneivy. Low, mean, sneaking, cunning. " He's a 

sneivy fellow." 
Sniffy. Supercilious. One who "cocks her (or his) 

nose " at anything. 

Snifting clack. a valve in the old Cornish steam- 
engine, so called because of the noise it made in 
working. Fryce. 

Snip, or Snippet. A little bit. 
Snite. A snipe. C. Suit is the Celtic Cornish word. 
Snob. The nasal secretion. 
Snoogly sot. Well fitted, as with clothes. Callington. 


Snuff. "To be snuff," affronted. Pohchele. See 

Soas. This curious word is often used, and in various 
ways. It appears to be a wheedling or coaxing 
expression, as " Woll'ee, soas 1 " i.e.. Now will you? 
"Do'ee, soas," i.e., Come now, do; and so on. It 
may be compared with the word Ko or Co- Q-V. 
(Neighbour, friend, companion. u.J.T.) (In Celtic 
Cornish mar sose, if thou art. ( 1 ) Pryce.) 

Soaked. Bread not baked enough is said to be not 
well soaked. 

Sodger. -A. red-herring. Soldier. 

Sog. A sleep. A nap, drowsiness, numbness. "I've 
just had a bit of a sog." It is a Celtic Cornish word. 

Sog. To doze, to have a short sleep. 

Soggy. Quaggy, moist, marshy. In Celtic Cornish 
sog means, moist, wet. 

SoUer, or Sailer. (Pryce, Corn, vocab. solarium vel 
solium. From the Latin.) In Celtic Cornish it is 
soler, meaning, a ground room, an entry, a gallery, a 
stage of boards in a mine ; or sel, a foundation, base, 
or groundwork. 

" A sailer in a mine is a stage or gallery of boards 
for men to stand on and roll away broken stuff in 

wheel-barrows There is also another kind of 

sailer in an adit, being boards laid hollow on its 
bottom, by means of which air is conveyed under feet 

to the workmen In a foot-way shaft the sailer 

is the floor for a ladder to rest upon." Pryce. 


So-long ! Good bye ! Adieu ! (Heard in Looe and 

Wadebridge). W.T.A.P. 
Some-clip. Very nice and particular. CaUington. 

"He's some clip." 
Soodling. Comforting, fondling, caressing, flattering. 

" Such soodling ways ! " In Celtic Cornish sofh means 

to flatter, but this is from the old English. 
Soons. Amulets, charms. M.A.C. In Celtic Cornish 

sona means, to sanctify, to consecrate, to charm. Also, 


Sory. c. See Scry. 
Sound-sleeper. See Seven-sleeper. 

Sound. To swoon, to faint away. " Did your brother 
tell you says Rosalind how I counterfeited to sound 
when he showed me your handkerchief 1 " 

ShaksjMre in ^' As you like it." 

Soundy away. See Zoundy away. 
Sour-sauce, Sour sabs, or Sour sops. The 

common sorrel. Rumex acetosa, also called Green- 

Sour as a rig. Very ill-tempered. CaUington. 
" Bless her when she is riggish." Antony and Cleopatra. 
Big anciently meant strumpet. 

Sour-sab pie. A pie made with the most juicy 
leaves, and tender stems of the " Common Sorrel," 
Rumex acetosa. Eaten with sugar and cream. The 
■writer once made an experimental ]^asty of the 


Common Sorrel, and it was quite as good as some 
kinds of Rhubarb. Some mention is made of this 
plant in the Flora Medica, where it is said, "The 

leaves are refrigerent and diuretic, and taken 

in large quantities as food will be found of consid- 
erable efficacy. In some parts of France it is culti- 
vated as an edible vegetable, and the natives of 
Wermeland, on the confines of Sweden, in seasons of 
great scarcity, form it into bread, and that it is not 

Souse. To fall, sit, or bump suddenly down. "Down 
he came, souse." 

Sow-pig, or Grammar-sow. The wood-louse. 

Sowdling. Burly, ungainly. M.A.C. 
Soyl. ^ seal. The sea calf. Carew. 

Spading. Cutting turf in large thin slices with a great 
cross-handled spade. 

Spal, or Spale. A fine for lost time, or absence from 
work. Amercement. Forfeiture. It is spal in Celtic 

Spaliard. A pickman ; a working tinner. Pryce. 

Spalier, or Spalyer. Espalier. 

Spalled, or Spaaled. Fined for absence or lost time 
in working. 

Spalliers, or SpadiardS. Miners so called from 
their spades. (Spalliers, Folwhele.) 

Spalling. Breaking large stones of ore, &c. See 


Spalls. Small chips of metal or stone. Stonecutters 
often sa}-, " I've got a spall in my eye." 

Spanjar, or Span. A tether. m.a.c. 

Spanker. A large thing. 

Spankin. Big, very large. 

Spar. Quartz. "In Cornwall all the white, opake, 

common hard stone is called spar; erroneusly it must 

be owned for it is quartz." 

Borlase's NoM. Histy. 

Sparables. Sprigs ; very small, short, headless nails, 

used for the soles of boots and shoes. (Hob-nails. 

Dr. Bannister,) 
Sparable pie. A quaint term meaning anything un- 

palateable, as thus to a boy, "I'll give you some 

sparable pie." 
Spare. Slow. "A very spare job." 
Sparrow. A wooden rod or skewer, used by thatchers 

to secure the thatch. 
Spar stone. Quartz. 
Speed, Luck. "I had very poor speed." 
Speedy. To hurry, to quicken. In Celtic Cornish it 

is spedye, to succeed, to hasten; ia spedye, to speed 

well. (See Borlase's Cornish Vocaby.) 

Speedy ground. See Teary ground. 
Spell. See Stem. 


Spence. A store-room for wine, or victuals. 

" And hadden him into the spcnse." Chaucer. In 

Celtic Cornish s])ens means a buttery. 
Spend. V. To break ground. Hallmell. 

Spiffy. Choice, neat, "natty," "spicy." 
Spikkety, or Spekkety. Spotted, as a "spikkety 

hen." In Celtic Cornish spekkiar means, spotted, 

speckled. "A man in a sj^ikkety jacket was theere." 
Spiller. A long fishing line with many hooks, also 

a ground line. 
Spinning-drone. A brown cock-chafer, or oak-web. 
Spise. To ooze, or flow gently out. 
Splat, or Splot. A plot, or small piece of ground. 

A spot, or blot, as of ink. 
Splatty. Spotty, pimply, uneven in colour, covered 

Avith smears or blots. " All splatty." 
Split and blout. To make a great fuss. Callington. 
Splitting along. Going very fast. 
Split-fig. A very stingy person. Nickname for a 

grocer who would cut a raisin in two, rather than 

give ovei'weight. " Ould splet-fig." 

Splot. See Splat. 

Spoom. Scum, froth. Spoum in Celtic Cornish. 

Spraggety. Mottled. 

Spraggling. A sprawling, ill-drawn design is "sprag- 
gling" or "loud." 


Sprawl. A disease of young clucks. They lose their 

strength aud seem as if ^^ they could hardly sprawl." 
See Sproil. 

Sprayed. Face, or hands roughened by cold. 
Spraying. An east wind is " a very spraying wind." 

Spriggan. A fairy. See Piskey. 

Sprigly. Split, or split up, as of a wart when growing 
much cracked or split. "A sprigly wart." 

Springle. A trap for snaring birds. A little Avicker 
work, (made of a slight willow rod), about eight or 
ten inches long, and shaped like a battledoor, is pinned 
to the ground at the broad end. At the apex, a notch 
is cut for a button or catch. Across the apex an 
arched short rod, called the bridge, is stuck at both 
ends into the ground. A willow rod is stuck into 
the ground about three feet ofi", having at the top a 
line ending in a slip noose. The noose is passed 
under the bridge, and laid on the wicker, the rod 
being bent doAvn and secured by a button near the 
noose, to the bridge and the wicker. Bait is placed 
on the wicker, a bird hopping on it releases the button, 
the rod flies back, and the bird is caught by the 
running noose. 

Sproil, or Sprawl. Energy, strength. "I haven't 
got a bit of sproil." To Sprawl, as, "I can hardly 
sprawl," i.e., scarcely stand or move. 

Sproosen. An untidy, ungartered woman. M.A.C. 

Spromicey. Cheerful, jolly, slightly intoxicated. 

Spry. "Wide awake. " All alive." Spruce. 
Spud. A young brat. Also, a garden tool used in 

cutting up weeds. 
Spudder. A fuss, a bother. " What a spudder ! " 
Spuds. Small potatoes. W.T.A.P. 

Spuke. An instrument spiked on to a pig's snout. The 
transverse bar, on which is a small roller, prevents the 
animal from grubbing. 

Spur. A short time at work. A " nip " or small glass 
of spirit. " Something short." 

Spurticles. Spectacles. " Where's my spurticles ] " 

Squab, or Squadge. A shove, a squeeze. 

Squabbed. Pressed, or crushed. 

Squab pie. A pie of apples, mutton, and an onion or 

two, seasoned with sugar, pepper, and salt. 
Squadged. Squeezed, crushed, as of fruit, &c,, injured 

by pressure. 
Squard. A rent or tear. Squerd in Celtic Cornish. 
Squarded. Torn, crushed in like a broken bandbox. 

In Celtic Cornish squarchje means to tear, to rend, to 

break to pieces. 
Squat. Pressed, flattened, burst. In Celtic Cornish 

squaihja means to pluck, to tear to pieces, to hew. 

Squat. A miner's term. "The squat of a lode," a 
broad heap. Pryce. In Celtic Cornish sqvjtf, suddenly, 
as when a lode has suddenly enlarged. 

Squeeze. An old frump. A cross old maid. "A 

regular old patch," "au old squeeze." 
Squiddle. A squirt. Squiddling. Squirting. 
SquiddleS. Diarrhea. 
Squinge grub. A small shrivelled pippin. "She's a 

regular old squinge grub," Neiuquay. 

Squinny. To squint. 

" Dost thou Sfjuinny at me 1" Shahpere. 

Squinny-eyed. A person whose eyes are habitually- 
half closed. A squinter. 

Squitch. A twitch, a jerk. In Celtic Cornish this 
word is spelt squycli and means the same thing. 

Squitchems. The jumps, the jerks, "the fidgets." 
From the Celtic Cornish sqiiycli. See Squitch. 

Stacey-jar. A quart stone bottle. M.A.C. 

Stack. The term used of one chimney, especially of a 
lofty one, as the engine stack of a mine engine-house. 

Stag. A young cock. 

Stagged, or Stogged. Stuck in the mud. In Celtic 
Cornish stagen, means a lake, a pool. 

St. Agnes totle. A stupid old fool. 

Stam-bang. Plump down. " Slap down." 

Stamps, Stompses. Stamping or ore crushing mills. 

Standard. A wrestling term. He who has thrown 
two men becomes a standard for the future contests 
in the ring. 

stand Sam. ''To stand sarn," i.e., to stand treat, to 
pay for all, to bear the charge. This phrase is not 
peculiar to Cornwall only. It is noticed here because 
in Celtic Cornish, sam means a burden, a charge. 

Stank. A mess, a muddle, a scrape. "We'eni in a 
putty stank now." Stajic is Celtic Cornish for a pool, 
a pond. 

Stank. To walk along, to step, to tread upon. " He's 
stankin' along at a putty rate." "What be'ee stankin' 
'pon my toes vur you g'eat bufflehead 1 " 

Stannary Laws, Stannaries, and Stannary- 
Courts. " Are laws, prrecincts, customs and courts 
peculiar only to tinners and tin mines." Pryce. 

Stare. A starling. 

Stares. Irregular spots or blotches. "It is full of 

Star-gazing, Staare-gaaze, Starry-gazy, or 

Staring pie. A pie made of leeks and pilchards. 

Sometimes without leeks. The noses or heads of the 

fish show through a hole in the crust. Hence the 

Starving, or Steeving. Suffering from the cold. 

In Celtic Cornish stervys, or sfevys, to catch cold, to be 

very cold. 
Stash. "There now, stash it there, i.e., Don't say 

another word. Mrs. Parrs Adam lO Eve. 

Stave. To move quickly and noisil}^ To knock down. 



Staver. A busyhorly. " A regular staver." One who 

is ahvaj's in a fuss. 
Steeve. To knock down. "I sleeved down three to 

waunce;" "And a catched up a shoul for to steeve 

ma outright." 
Steeved. Stowed, forced dowu, broken in. 
Stem. A period of work, or of time, a job. A day's 

work. A double stem is to work six hours extra. 
Stemming. Turn by turn, taking your turn. Spelt 

stemmyn in Borlase's Vocabulary of Celtic Cornish 

words. "To work out his stemmyn," i.e., to do his 

share of the work. 
Stempel. A slant beam used in a mine for supporting 

certain places. Pryce. 

Stent, or stents. Eubble left by tin streamers in 
their workings. Such places are called stent bottoms. 
In Celtic Cornish stener, a tinner, siean, tin. 

'Stent. The limit or boundary of a bargain or pitch or 
sett in mining, It is the word extent shortened. 
" That is the 'stent of it. 

Stew. Fuss, ill-temper, row. "What a stew you're 
in ! " 

Stewer. A raised dust. AYarmth or closeness of the 
air of a room. " AVhat a stewer you're making ! " 
"Kicking up a dust." In Celtic Cornish steuys, warm. 

Steyne. A large brown salting pan or pot. Sten, a 
milk-pail, in Celtic Cornish. 


StickingS. The last of a cow's milk. M.A.C. 
Stickler. One who is ou watcli in the wrestling ring 

to see fair play. 
Stiddlej or StOOdle. The pole to which an ox is tied 

iu the stall. See Studdle. 
Stile. A flat iron, m.a.c. 
Sting-blubber. The sea nettle. See Blubber. 
Stingdum. The fish Coitus scorinus. c. 
Stint. To impregnate. C. 
StiracOOSe. A hustling, energetic Avoman. 
Stirrage. Commotion, fuss, movement. 

Stock. A large block or log of wood. The " Christ- 
mas stock" of Cornwall is the "yule-block" of the 
North of England. Stoc in Celtic Cornish. 

Stodge. Food wdien very "thick and slab," is so called 
in contempt. "^Yhat stodge!" 

Stogged. See Stagged. 

Stoiting. The leaping of a shoal of fish. c. 

Stool-crab. The male edible crab. C. 

Stope. A step. " ^yheu a sumph (sump) or pit is 
sunk down in a lode, they break and work it away as 
it were in stairs or steps, one man following another, 

and breaking the ground which is called 

stopeing; and that height or step which each man 
breaks, is called a stope. Likewise, hewing away the 
lode overhead, is * stoj)eiiig in the back.' " Prijce. 

Stopes. Mining term for a stull, winze, or rise. In 
the Clay-work district it means the face of the clay- 
pit. " A good stopes," i.e., a good deep body of clay. 

Stope-a-back. A mining operation. E.N. See Stope. 

Stop net, or stop seine. The great, or principal 
seine net used to enclose a shoal of pilchards. It is 
often 1600 feet long, and about 60 feet broad. One 
edge is supplied with corks to float it, the other with 
leaden weights to sink it. When " shot," for a shoal 
of pilchards, it surrounds them circularly like a wall, 
and the " tuck-net " is used to remove the fish from it. 

See Tuck-net. 

Stound. A sudden and great pain. 

Strake, or Streke. A small tye or gounce for washing 
the fine ore stvff, as in streaming tin. Pryce. The 
term straJces is used of the mica pits, (q.V.) or long 
shallow places in a clay-work. The clay water runs 
slowly along them as it dsposits mica (q.v.) In Celtic 
Cornish, sfreic, a stream. 

Strake, or Strakey. To steal marbles. M.A.c. 

Straking along. Walking slowly, sauntering. In 
Celtic Cornish sirechye means, to stop, to stay, to 

Stram. A falsehood. 

Stram. To slam., or shut anything violently. 

Stram-bang, or Slam-bang. All of a sudden, in 
a noisy manner. 


Strammer. A big lie, a large thing, a tall stout 

woman. " What a strammer!" 
Stramming. Telling " awful lies," telling " thunder- 
ing" lies. 

Strange. Half mad, delirious, " talking quite strange." 
Strap, or Strop. A bit of string. A small cord. 
(Strop, Armoric. Borlase.) 

Strat. To abort. "Stratveal." C. 

Straw mot. A single straw. 

Stream of tin. Loose stones containing tin " when 
found together in great numbers making one continued 
course from one to ten feet deep, which we call a 
stream." Borlase' s Nat. Histy. 

Streams. Strains, as ''streams of music." 

Streamer. A tinner who works in a stream work, 
searching for, or washing tin ore. 

Streaming. Washing tin-ore in a stream work ; also, 
dipping washed linen in the "blueing" water, or 
rinsing it in clean water. 

Stream-work. A place for the raising and washing 
of surface or alluvial tin ore. 

Stretcher. An exaggeration, a lie. " What a stret- 
cher ! " 

Strike, v. To anoint, to apply any unguent by 
smearing it on a diseased surface. 

Strike. Eight gallons measure, or Winchester bushel. 


Strike, Streeck, or Strik. " To let a man down in 
the shaft by the windlass, and if he calls up to the 
men above ground to * streech,' they let him go 
further down." Pryce. From the Celtic Cornish word 
stric, active, nimble, swift. 

String. A thin vein or lode of ore is so called. 

String course. See String. 

Stringy. Term used of vegetables when too old and 

Stroil. Strength. Pohvhele. See Sproil. 

Stroil. -A. weedy growth of coarse grass, sedge, &c. 

In Celtic Cornish, strail elester, means, a mat of sedge 

or rushes. 
Strome. A streak. Stromy. Streaky. 
Strother, or Stroth. Hurry, fuss. " What's all the 

stroth about 1 " 

Strove. To force or compel an unwilling belief. " He 
strove me down to a lie." 

StrOW, or Strawl. A litter ; confusion, row, distur- 
bance, or turmoil. (StrOVe. U.J.T.) 

Strub. To steal. As, to strub an orchard, i.e., steal 

the apples. 
Strunty. Misty, foggy. M.A.C. 

Stub. To grub or dig up the roots, as of furze, &c. 

"Stubbing furze." 
Stubbard, or Stubbet. A kind of apple. 


Studdle, A timber support of the "deads" in a 
mine. " As if a studdle had broke and the ' deads ' 
were set a running." Borlase's Celtic Cornish Vocahy. 

Stuffle. To stifle, to suffocate, as with smoke. 

Stugg. A Large brown earthenware vesssel. See 


Stuggy, or Sturgy. Short and fat. 

StuU. A place to receive ore. e.N. This is a Celtic 
Cornish word and means in that language, a rafter or 
style. In a mine, timber placed in the backs of levels 
and covered with boards, or small poles to support 
rubbish, is called a stull. Astull, or astel in Celtic 
Cornish means "a stage of boards." 
Stumpy. To walk, to hobble. "Stumping along." 
Sturt. A run of good luck. A beginning of work, 

Suant, Zuant, or Suent. Going smoothly, regularly, 
or without much friction or obstruction. There is 
another meaning, thus, if a tobacco pipe were nearly 
chooked it would be said "Et doan't draa zuant." 
Also thus, a thirsty man drinks eagerly and on 
putting down the glass may say, "Ah ! that's suant." 
Also of sowing seed in a regular manner, thus, 
"Thaim zawed zuant." 

Subsist, or 'Sist. Money paid a miner in advance, 
or on account. 

Sucked stone. " A honey-combed porous stone." 

Pryce. See Swimming stone. 


Sugary candy. When the boots or shoes creak, they 

say there is sugary candy in them. 
Sugary quartz. A very crumbly or pulverulent 

quartz, closely like white sugar. 
Sump. Bottom of a mine shaft. (Sumph. Pryce.) 
Sumpmen. Men who sink mine shafts. 
Sumps. Pits made at the bottom of the mine for the 

water, or for trying in depth beyond the general 

workings. JBorlase. 

Sunbeams. The air-floating webs of the gossamer 

Survey. A public sale, an auction. Letting work in a 

SusSj or Sess. See Zess. Sus, Latin, a sow. 
Swabstick. A mining tool. 

Swaising, or Whazing. Swinging, as of the arms 
in walking. M.A.c. Sicegh, a Saxon word, means, 
a violent motion, swaying. 

Swallet. A gulph or chasm. Fryce. 

Swap. A gadfly. M.A.c. 

Swarr. Swathe, " a good swarr of hay." 

Swealed, or Swailed. In the Cornish dialect, means, 
scorched and crumpled, as of parchment by heat. 
Swell, (Spenser) burnt. 

Swellack. The redwing. See Whinnard. 

Suellak in Celtic Cornish. Polwhde. 

Swike. A twig of heath. M.A.c. See Griglan. 

Swimming- stone. A stone formerly found at Nan- 
cothan Copper mine near Redruth. It consists of 
laminae as thin as paper, intersecting each other in all 
directions. The stone is thus so cellular that it will 
float on water. It is of a yellow gossan colour and 
seems like a light kind of lapis calavdnaris. 

Borlase's Nail. Histij. 

Swipes. A thin, poor alcoholic drink. Small beer. 


Sych. See Seech. 

Sye, or Zye. A scythe. 

Tab, Tabbun, or Tubban. A piece of turf In 

Celtic Cornish tahm means, a jjiece, a morsel. 
Tabm. Celtic Cornish for a piece of bread and butter. 

('• Still used in Cornwall." Polwhele.) 
Tacking. Clapping, as of the hands. Also, a punish- 
ment for a child, " I'll give'ee a good tacking ! " 
TaddagO pie. A pie made of prematurely born 

Tadly-OOdly. Tipsy. " He's all tadly-oodly." 
Taer. A fuss, a row, great excitement. " Vaather's in 

a putty taer." In Celtic Cornish taer means, potent, 

powerful, rude. 
Taering round. Making a fuss, being in a passion. 

" He was in a taering passion." 
Taering. Rushing, or running about. Making a great 

clatter, or rumpus. 

Tag- The tail end of a rump of beef. m.a.C. 

Tag-worm. Earthworm. See Angleditch. 

Tailings. The hist or refuse ore. 

Tailors needles. Scandix peden veneris. C. 

Tail-on-end. Fi^n of expectation. 

Tail-pipe. To tie a kettle to a dog's tail. 

Take. A bargain of work in a mine. 

Take a heave. A mineral lode is said to "take a 

heave " when a " fault " has shifted or broken its 


Taken horse or Hoss. See Hoss in the lode. 

Taking. Great excitement, trouble, or commotion. 
" Great pity is, he be in such taking." 

Spenser in the Shepherd's Calendar. 

Taking Day. "An old custom, about the origin of 
Avhich history tells us nothing, is still duly observed 
at Crowan. 

Annually, on the Sunday evening previous to 
Praze-an-beeble fair, large numbers of the young folk 
repair to the parish Church, and, at the conclusion of 
the service, they hasten to Clowance Park, where still 
larger crowds assemble, collected chiefly from Leeds- 
town, Carnhell-green, Nancegollan, Black Eock, and 
Praze. Here the sterner sex select their partners for 
the forthcoming fair; and, as it not unfrequently 
happens that the generous proposals are not accepted, 
a tussle ensues, to the intense merriment of passing 


Many a happy wedding has resulted from the 

opportunity afforded for selection on " Taking Day " 

in Clowance Park. The CornisJwian. 

Talch. Bran. It is a Celtic Cornish word. 
Talafat. "A raised alcove for a bed." m.A.c. 
Tallack. A garret. Pohvhele. (Tallic. Prijce.) 
Tallet. A stable loft. In Celtic Cornish tallic means, 

that which is placed high, a garret. 
Tarn. It is a 'Celtic Cornish word, and means, a 

morsel, a piece, a jot, a bit. Tame furze, i.e., short 

furze. Careiv. 
Tamlyn. A miner's tool. U.j.t, 
Tamp. To beat or ram down, as of powder into a 

hole in blasting rocks. 
Tamping. Material used in blasting. 
Tamping iron. A tool for ramming down blasting 

materials in a hole for blasting. 
Tammy. A straining sieve. 
Tammy cloth. A loosely woven tissue for a straining 


Tang. See Twang. 

Tantra-bobus, or Tantrum-bobus. Term ap- 
plied to a noisy, playful child. " Oh ! you tantra- 
bobus ! " 

Tap. The sole of a boot or shoe. Also the iron (or 
other metal) "scute" of the heel, "heel tap." To 
tap, i-e., to sole a shoe or boot. 

Tarve. v. To fuss about in a rage. 

Tarving. Struggling, storming, agitating. "Tarving 

Taunt. Pert. " High and mighty." Saucy. 
Tay-dish. A tea cup. "A dish of tay." 
Teary. Soft, like dough. c. 
Teary, or Tary-ground. Ground which, in mining, 

is easily dug out, because of its numerous small joints 

or fissures. 
Teat. A draught of wind. M.A.c. 
Teating. Whisthng of the wind. M.A.C. 

Teel. To plant or sow. To set or "teel a trap." To 
be obstinately bent on doing something, as "he's 
teeled for it," i.e., "he's ripe for it." 

Teeled. Buried in the grave. Planted. 

Teem. To pour out, i.e., " to teem out." 

Teem. To ladle out water (in mining) by means of a 
bowl or scoop. To bale out. 

Teen, Tend, or Tine. To light, as "teen the 

candle." " Tine the fierce lightning." Milton. 
Teen. To close. " I hav'nt teened my eye. c. 
Teening time. Twilight, candle lighting time. 
Tend. To kindle, or set a light to. c. 

Tend. v. To provide, to supply. "One boy 
the stones as the other threw them at the apples." 


Tender. A waiter, as at an inn, or at a gentleman's 
dinner table. " Ev'ry Tender what's tlieere, my dears, 
is a rail gen'leman to look upon, mostly passons I 
reckon, or they've got their cloos, and they're like 'em 
too 'bout their throtts." 

The " Queen's ivashing day " by Tregellas. 

Tender-box. Tinder box. A metal box with a cover 
containing charred rags on which a spark from flint 
and steel increased so as to light a sulphur match. 
Superseded by lucifer matches in 1834. 

Tern. A bittern. " Crying like a tern." M.A.C. 

Tetties, Taties, Tates. Potatoes. 

Tetty-hobbin. Potato cake. Callington. 

Tetty-hoggan. Potato pasty. Callington. Hogen in 

Celtic Cornish means a pork pasty. Pryce. 
Tetty-rattle. Cornish stew. 

Thew. Threaten. Careio. 

Thikky, Thekka, Thikky there. That, as 

"thikky man," i.e., that man. (In Celtic Cornish 

ihck means the. Pryce.) 
Thickee and thuckee. This and that. "Some 

caan't abide thickee, and t'other man caan't tich 

thuckee." Mrs. Parr's Adam and Eve. 

Thirl, or Thurl. Thin, wan, hollow-eyed. " He's 

looking quite thirl." "I'm feeling very thirl." 
Throstel. A thrush, Throstel. Chmicer. 
Throyting. Cutting little chips from a stick. Carew. 


Thrashel. See Drashel. 

Thraw to un. To persevere, to stick at it. " Tbraw 
to un, for theer't sure to have a bundle of a lode very 

Thunder-axes. "There are also taken up in such 
works, (stream-works) certaine little tooles of brasse 
(bronze) which some term thunder-axes!' These are 
the celts so well known to the antiquary. 

Thunder and lightning. Bread spread with clot- 
ted cream, and treacle over it. 

Thunder-planet. In sultry weather they used to 

say, " there is a thunder planet in the air." 
Thurt eyed. Said of one who squints. 
Thumb-beam, or Thumb-bine. A twisted band 

of straw formed coil by coil off the thumb. Used 
formerly by countrymen, coiled round the legs to keep 
them dry. 

Ticketing day. A term used of the days on which 
tin and copper ore are sold, "upon which days at- 
tend the Agents for the ores to be sold, and those of 
various Companies who having previously sampled the 
ores through their Assayers, produce a sealed ticket 
of the price they will give for ore; and he whose 
ticket is highest, takes the ore on the" part of the 
Company for whom he acts." Dr. Paris. In this 
way the sale of £20,000, or more, in value of ore, is 
often concluded in an hour or two. This system has 
been inpractice about 150 years. 

Tic-tac-Mollard. A game of "Ducks and Drakes." 


Tiching. "Setting up turves to dry, to prepare for 

fuel." Grose. 

Tidden. Tender, painful (mentally). Hard to put up 

with. "It came somewhat tidden to him." Gulval. 


TiddieS. Teats. Tcthan in Celtic Cornish for teat or 

Tiddy, or Titty. A teat, human milk. Tidi and 

tethan are Celtic Cornish for breast, pap, or teat. 
Tiddy bit. A little piece. 
Tiddliwink. A beerhouse. See Kiddliwink. 

Tiddly. To do the lighter kind of household work. 
"What can you dol said a mistress to the maid. 
" I can louster and fouster, but I caan't tiddly, " said 
she. w.T.A.p. 

Tidy. Good, smart, intelligent. " A tidy house," " a 
tidy dinner," "a tidy sort of a chap." 

Tie, or Tye. A feather bed. Also used of beds 
otherwise stuffed, as with " douse." Also called bed- 

Tie. A large wooden trough used for washing ore. 

Tifles, TiffleS, or Tifflens. Small thready frag- 
ments. "Your dress is covered with tifles." 

Tifle out, or TifiGle out. To unravel thready mate- 
rial or tissue. 

Tifling. Fraying out. " tifling it out." 

Tig, or Tiggy. A children's game played by several 
of them, there being one iit each station. They inter- 
change places. If in running from one station to the 
other a player be touched by the "Tig" (who is so 
called) the one touched becomes tig instead, and so 
on. This game is elswhere called Tag. 

Tight. A tight blow, i.e., a sharp blow, also (as els- 
where) drunk. " He's tight." 
Timbal. A mining tool. M.A.C. 

Timberin, or Temberin. Wooden. 

Timberin hill. The staircase, or road to bed. " 'Tis 

time for you to go up temberin hill." 
Timdoodle. A silly fellow. 
Timmersome. Timid, nervous. 
Tin-glass. A name for bismuth. Borlase. 

Tine. A tooth of a harrow, c. To tine. (The 

same as to teen), to light, as of a candle. 
Ting. To tie up together. 

Tinged up. Tied up. "I shaan't be tinged up to 
he." " Doant'ee come tinging aafter me." 

/. B. Netherton. 
Tink. A chaffinch. 

Tinker after. Courting, making up to, feeling a 
fondness for. 

Tinner. The water wagtail. Bottrell. 


Tin bounds. IMarked out land in wliich to search 
for and stream tin. 

Tinner. A workman in search for, or employed in 

the washing of tin in a Streamwork. 
Tinners. " All Cornish miners." Pryce. (1790.) 
Tin mine. A mine in which tin ore is dug from the 

tin lode. 
Tin-stuff. Black tin. The miners use the term tin- 

stuff for tin, and copper-o?-e for copper when in a 

mineral state. 
Tin- work. A stream work. Q.v. 
Tippy. Smart, handsome, " quite the thing." " A 

tippy pair of boots." 

Titch pipe, or Touch pipe. A habit with miners 

of having a short smoke during worktime, "titch 

pipe a croom." 
Toad-in-the-hole. Meat with batter around it baked 

in a dish. 
ToaS, or Toze. To shake or toss the wet tin to and 

fro in a kieve or vat, with water, to cleanse and dress 

it. Pryce. 

Toasts. "One and all." "Fish, tin, and copper." 

" Hakes and Tates." " No scads nor rays." " No 

staring pies." 
Toat. The whole lot. " The whole toat of them," 

Todge. See stodge. 

Toit or Toitish. Pert, saucy, or impudent. 


Tokened to. Betrothed. 

ToUur. A man who inspects and superintends tin- 
bounds ; so called because " bounds " are terminated 
by holes cut in the earth which must be renewed, and 
visited once a year; or because he receives the tolls or 
dues of the lord of the soil, Borlase. (In Celtic 
Cornish toll or doll a hole). 

Tom-holla. A noisy, rude fellow. 
Tom-horry. A sea bird. The common name of two 
or three species of skua. C, 

Tommy-tailor. The crane fly, or Daddy-long-legs. 


Tommy-toddy, or Tom-toddy. The tadpole. 

"Like a tommy-toddy 
All head and no body," 
Tom toddy. "A game in which each person in suc- 
cession has to drink a glass of beer or spirits, on the 
top of which a piece of lighted candle has been put, 
whilst the others sing 

" Tom-toddy es coom hoam, coom hoam ; 

Tomrtoddy es coom hoam 
Weth hes eyes burnt, and hes nawse burnt 

And hes eyelids burnt also. 
Tom-toddy es," &c. Uncle Jan Trenoodle. 

Tom-trot. Sweet stuff. Toffy, hard-bake. 

Tongue-tabbas, or Tongue-tab. A chattering 

old scold. 


Tongue-pad. A pratler, a chatterer, a very talkative 

Tonnell, or tunnell. A great tub or task. PolvMe. 

Tonnel is Celtic Cornish for cask. 

Tootledum pattick. A great simpleton. 

Toppy. The hush of hair brushed straight up from 
the forehead. Very common about 50 years ago with 
men and boys. 

Top-cliflf. Half a gallon of black tin. Careiv. 

Tor. A pile of rocks, or a huge rock, generally crown- 
ing a hill of granite. The word is Celtic Cornish and 
means, a prominence, a bulge, the swell of a moun- 
tain, a mountain, a tower or high place. 

Tormentor. An agricultural implement for breaking 
up the clods of a ploughed field. 

Tose. To pull wool. Tosing. A process of pull- 
ing or preparing wool. M.A.c. 

Tot. A dram, or "nip" of spirit, "a tot of lic^uor." 

Totle. A stupid silly fellow. 

Totelin, or Totelish. Both senile and imbecile. 
"A poor toteling old man." 

Toucher. A close hit or miss. " That was a toucher." 

Touch-wood. Wood in a peculiar state of decay. 
A sort of dry rot, as in dead, but still standing trees. 

Tosh. A large bunch, as of flowers. M.A.c. 

Touse. Fuss, row, uproar, hurry. "Making such a 
touse." (Tos, he swore, in Celtic Cornish.) 

Touser. A large coarse apron for kitchen use. 

{Touzier in Armoric, a table-cloth). 
Tousing. Working briskly, bustling about. 

Towan, Towin, Tewen, Tuan, or Tuyn. 

These are Celtic Cornish words for a dune or heap of 
sand. Many places are called by this name whose 
situation answers to this etymology, as Towan Forth, 
Pentuan, &c. Lhuycl (Archeologia p. 220) says it 
means a hillock, and Gwavas applies the term to a 
plain, a green, or level place. "The spots, says Polwhele, 
most favourable to our sheep are those were the sands 
are scarcely covered with the sod, the green hillocks 
or levels of our downs in the vicinity of the sea. 
We call them iowans." 

Town of trees. A grove near a dwelling-house. 

Town-place. The farm yard, a hamlet. 

Towze. To pull about in a rough manner. 

Toytish, or Toit. Pert, snappish. 

Toze. To walk fast. Tozing along. Going along 
in a hurry. M.A.c. 

Traade. Physic. "Doctors' traade." Anything nau- 
seous, i.e. " poor traade." Synonymous with " stuff," 
" poor stuff," i.e., "poor traade." 

Traapse. To gad about. "Traapseing about in the 

Trammel. A fishing net. (Tramels, nets. Spenser.) 

Trawy. A trough, t.c. 


Treesing. Idling. m.a.c. 

Tregagle, or Tregeagle. A legendary personage. 

The name is used thus "Howling like Tregagle." 

See the Legend in Corn. Histy. 

Treloobing. Washing the Jools, Q.V., or slime tin, &c., 
so as to save the fine ore, which sinks to the bottom. 
Looh, Celtic Cornish, slime, sludge. 

Trenrniin. Good, very nice, pleasant. " Good for 
sore eyes," i.e., good to see. "Now I call that, 
tremmin." In Celtic Cornish treniyn means, sight, 
look, aspect. 

Trester. A beam. " Put in a good big trester." In 
Celtic Cornish, troster, a beam, a rafter, and tresters, 
beams, rafters. 

Trestrem. Bait cut up for the hooks. 

F. IV. P., Mousehole. 

Tribet. A trivet. A stand or support having three 
legs, or feet. An andiron. It is a Celtic Cornish 

Tribute. The share or share price by contract, of ore 
raised, claimed by the miner. 

Tributers. Miners who work for "tribute," (Q.V.), 
i.e., undertake to raise ore from the lode at a percent- 
age in the pound sterling, on the value of the ore 
brought to "grass." 

Triddling. Trifling, talking nonsense. Garland. 

Trig. To put on the drag to a wheel. To set up or 
support with a prop, " to trig it up." To trip up. If 
falling, a lad would say he had " trigged his foot." 

Trig. Shellfish are so called at Helford, and many- 
other places in Cornwall. Pohvhele. (Treage, The 
muscle (fish). Borlase.) Celtic Cornish. 

Trikle. Treacle. (Triacle. Chaucer.) 

Troach. To step along, to tread upon, to trample on. 

Troachers. Itinerant dealers or pedlers. So called 
because they troach (trot) about the country. 

Troaching. Trudging, plodding along, walking about. 
(Hawking vegetables, m.a.c.) Treading upon. "Tro- 
aching about all day long." 

Troddler. Just "going ofi"," one just learning to 
walk, " a little troddler." 

Troll. A feast. (A short row on the sea. M.A.C.) 

Troll. A tinner's feast. (Also called a duggle. Pryce.) 

Troll foot. See Trowled. 

Troll footed. One who has club feet. 

Trone. A small furrow, or narrow trench. 

Trool. To turn round or run, as does a small wheel, 
or roll like a ball. See Truckle. 

Trot. The bed of a river. PoJichele. 

Trot. "An old trot." A moping, cross, and 
wretched old woman, a covetous person, an old miser. 
From troth, Celtic Cornish, poor, wretched. 


Trowled, or Trolled. Turned or twisted down, as 
of the heel of a shoe. Also a deformity of the foot 
(talii^es), " a trowled foot." Also sprained, as, " I've 
trowled my foot." 

Troy-town. "Like Troy-town," i.e., confusion, litter; 

intricacy of roads or streets. 
Truck. Trash. " What truck ! " Troc in Celtic Cornish 

means, evil, harm. 
Truckle. A very small wheel or roller. 
Truckle. To roll along, or around as a small wheel, 

or as a ball. 
Truflf. Trout. H.E.c. Tmd in Celtic Cornish, but 

borrowed from the Latin tndta, a trout. 
Trug. To trudge. 

Trundle. A salting pan. CaUington. 

Trunk. A mining tool. e.n. 

Trunking. One of the processes in tin dressing. E.N. 
Tub. The fish. Trigia hirundo. c. Red Gurnard. 
TubbanS. Clods of earth. TabS. Q.V. 
Tubbal. A miner's tool. 
Tubbut. Short and thick. See Dobbet. 
Tuck. Chuck, as "a tuck under the chin." Also an 

operation in seining pilchards. 
Tucker. One who works in a fulling-mill. 
Tuck in. A good large meal, a blow-out, " I've had 

a regular good tuck in." 


Tucking. Working in a fulling-mill. Also an opera- 
tion with a tuck-net in the taking of pilchards by- 
removing the fish enclosed in the large stop-net. 

Tucking-mill. A fulling-mill. 

Tuck-net. A fishing net used in the taking of pilch 
ards which have been enclosed by the seine, or stop- 

Tummals. Lots, heaps, quantities of any thing. 
" Tummals of meat." Tomals in Celtic Cornish, 
for the same. 

Tulky, or Tulgy. A slovenly woman. M.A.C. 

Tun-tree, or Tuntry. The pole of an ox-wagon. 

Turned ugly (oogly). Loss of temper, very cross, or 
sulky. " He's turned oogly." 

Tut. A footstool. A stupid person. M.A.C. 

Tutmen. Men who work in a mine by the piece, such 
as sinking shafts, driving adits, &c., at so much per 

Tutwork. Work in a mine done at a certain price, as 
by the fathom, &c. 

Twang, or Tang. A peculiar taste or flavour, 

Twingle. To twist and wriggle like a worm on a 
hook. Also to tingle as from cold. 

Twister. A difficult job, " that's a twister." 

Tye. An adit or drain. A Celtic Cornish word form- 
erly in use about St. Austell. Tonkin. Also a bed. 

See Bed-tye. 


Tye. " The same as strek, (or strake) but worked with 
a smaller stream of water." " Pryce. 

Tyor. A thatcher, or hellier (slater). Fohvhele. It is 
a Celtic Cornish word. 

Udjiack. " A small moveable block of wood used by- 
builders in fitting the planks of a boat." B.V. 

Ugly^ or Oogly. JMorose, ill-tempered. 
" Esna lukkin oogly ovver et ! " 

Uncle. This word, like au7it (q.v.), is very often used 
instead of Mr., in speaking to, or of an aged Cornish- 
man, although not related to the speaker. 

Underground captain. The person who overlooks 
miners at work down in the mine. 

Uneave, To thaw. PolwheU. Heaving, eaving, and 
giving, are synonymous words. Chaucer used yeve 
for (jive, and the true word seems to be yeaving. It is 
now used without the prefix un. See Heaving, and 


Unkid Gloomy, lonely, dull, uncanny. 

Unlusty. Unwieldy, very fat. 

Unream. To skim off the clotted or clouted cream 

from the surface of the scalded milk with a reamer. 

Un-tifled. Frayed out, unravelled or frayed by wear; 

used of tissues. 
Uppa, uppa, holye ! (Pronounced oojxi, oopa, holly). 

When the writer was a boy the following were the 

words used in the boy's game of fox-hunting. When 


the hounds (the boys) were "at fault" the leader 
cried out to the missing "fox" in these words, 
" Uppa, uppa, holye, 
If you don't speak, 
My dogs shan't folly (follow)." 
The first line is Celtic Cornish, uppa meaning, in 
this place, here, and hohje, to follow, to come after, to 
watch. This is a "cry" in two languages, and the 
only one (except perhaps Ena Mena, Q-V.) of the 
kind known to the writer. It is probably very old, 
and when, long ago, Cornish boys hunted together, 
some of them perhaps could only speak their native 
Celtic tongue, while others among them knew both 
English and Cornish. See Hubba and Hevah. 

Uprose, or UprOSed. Churched, as with women 
after childbed. 

Urge. To retch, or strain in vomiting. 

Vady. Musty. Damp. (Faded, gone. Spenser.) 

Vag-ends. Fag ends, scraps, remnants. 

Vally. Value, worth, price. 

Valsen. Fresh water eels. Carew. 

Vamp. A sock, or short stocking. 

Vamp. To put a new foot to a stocking. 

Vamping. A tippler's trick. Tipplers who desire to 
make the most of one glass of grog, first drink a little, 
then add some spirit, then sip again, next add some 


more water, then drink again, and so are repeating the 
trick known as vamping. In a way it is putting a 
new foot to a stocking. 

Vang. A notion, or conceit, "one of his new vangs." 

Vang. To get, to earn. 

"Vang thee that." The London Prodigal 

VangingS. Earnings, winnings. See FangingS. 

Vang-tooth. The eye-tooth. {JVang, Saxon). 

Vanning. Trying a sample of tin ore by washing it 
on a shovel. 

VargOOd. "A spar about 23 feet long used as a bow- 
line to the foresail of our fishnig boats." w.F.P. 

Veak. A whitlow, c. Veach. m.a.c. 

Vean. Little. " Cheeld vean," little child. It is Celtic 
Cornish. Also vijan. 

Veer. A young, or sucking pig. (In Celtic Cornish 
verrcs means a boar pig. Pryce.) 

Vellon. See Fellon. 

Vellum-broken. Paiptured, (hernia). SuflFering from 

Venom. A gathered, or inflamed finger. A whitlow. 

Veor, Great. A Celtic Cornish word, also written 
vor, veur and meur. 

Veskin. See Biscan. 
Vester. See Fescue. 

Vestry. The smiling of infants in their sleep. M.A.C. 
Victor-nuts. Hazelnuts. M.A.C. 

Vistes, or Veestes. The fists. 

" But I'll tame the ould deval afore et es long, 
Ef I caan't wai ma veestes, I will wai ma tongue." 
Vinny, or Vinnied. Turned sour. "The beer is 
gone vinny.'' Mouldy, as of cheese. 

Vinney, or Vinnewed ore. " Copper ore that has 

a blue or green spume, or efflorescence upon it like 
verdigris." Pryce. 

Virgin ore. Malleable or native copper. So called 
because of its purity. 

Visnan, or Vidnan. A sand lance, a sand eeL 


Visgay^ or Visgie. A digging tool, a kind of mat- 
tock. Callington. 
Vitty. See Fitty. 
Vlaad. See Blawed. 

Vlicker. " Flicker," or blush. 
Vlickets. Hot flushes, blushes. 

Vlicker up. To blush, or flush violently. "She 
vhckered up all over, "i.e.," Her face was all on fire." 

Voace-put. Something done for the occasion, or, 
under great necessity, or compulsion. " Twas a voace- 
put aafter oal." 

Voider. A baby's clothes-basket. 

Vogget. To hop on one leg. C. 
Volyer, or Vollier. The second seine boat in 
pilchard fishing. It carries the tuck-net. Also called 

Folyer, or Follower. 

VoOCh, and VoOChy. See Fooch, and Foochy. 
Vore. A furrow. Vor or for in Celtic Cornish, a way. 
Vore-heap. A wrestling grip or hitch. 

Vore-right, or Fore-right. A straight-forward, 
blunt, or brusque manner of speaking. The coarse 
ground, " entire grain," (corn) made into bread is 
called "vore-right," or "forth-right" bread. 

Vorethy, or Voathy. See Foathy, or Forethy. 

Vorver. A horse way. In Celtic Cornish vor, vordh, 
or for, a way, and verh, (a mutation of merh) a horse. 

Voryer. The fowls' or hens' path, or way. F'rom the 
Celtic Cornish vor, a way ; yer, hens, {ijar, a hen). 

Vrape. See Frape. 

Vugg, or Voog. A natural cavity in a mine often 
found beautifully crusted with minerals. There are 
various names in Celtic Cornish for a cave or cavern, 
viz., vooga, voii, vugga, vug, vugli, hugo, fogo, fogou, fou, 
googoo, ogov, and ogo. 

Vurry- cloth, or Furry-cloth. An oval piece of 

red cloth about 3 inches by 2 inches, placed over the 
fontanel of a new-born babe before putting on a cap. 
This custom of the vurry-cloth was in use about 40 or 
50 years ago. Poor women begged the red cloth of 


tailors to use for this purpose. The custom is 
obsolete or very rare now. Perhaps from the Celtic 
Cornish fur, sage, prudent. Sage-woman's cloth. Bod- 
Wack. Allowance, quantum. " He looks like a fellow 
who can take his wack" 

Wad. A small bunch, or bundle of hay, straw, &c. 
The "rubber" used by french-polishers is called a 
" wad." Also, bread, butter, and sugar in a tied rag, 
for infants to suck. This is called a " sugary wad." 

Waiter. A tea tray. 

Wagel. A grey gull. M.A.C. 

Wambling. Rumbling in the stomach. Feeling sick 

and faint. See Wimbly-wambly. 

Wang. To hang about in a tiresome manner. M.A.C. 
Want. A mole. Want-hill. Mole-hill. 

Warming stone. A name formerly given to a kind 

of stone, which when once heated retains the heat a 

great while. Called by Charlton, Lapis schistos duriss: 

et solidissimus. (Borlase's Natl. Histy.) 
Warn. To warrant, as " I'll warn'ee," i.e., I'll warrant 

Watercase. A plant resembling watercress, but the 

leaves are not so round, and it has a more stinging 

taste. ( Helosciadum nodiflorum. c.) 
Wattery. Faint and hungry, " I'm feeling very wat- 



Watty, or Wat. A name for a hare. So called from 
his long ears or wattles. Brewer: 

" By this poor JFai, far off upon a hill 
Stands on his hinder legs, with listening ear." 

Shakspere in " Venus and Adonis.^' 
Way. The "reason why." "That is the way I did 

it," i.e., That is luhij I did it. 
Way. "In ^ way." Disturbed in mind. Angry. 
" Mawther's in a putty way." See Taer, Taking. 
Touse, and Por. 

Ware East. Ware West. Cries in hurling for 
the goal. Carew. (JVare or ir/iare, Celtic Cornish 
for quickly, soon, at once.) 

Wear, or wor. Fashion. See Oal tha wor. 

"It is not the wear.'" Shukspeie. 

Wedgin day. A day set apart by miners for repairing 
tools, &c. E.N. 

WeelyeS. (weelys) Crab or lobster pots. Tonkin. 

Wee's nest. A mare's nest. 
" Why dost thou laugh 1 
What mare's nest hast thou found ? " 

Beaumont and Fletcher, "Bonduca," v. 2. 
In Cornwall they say, " you have found a wee's nest 
and are laughing over the eggs. " Brewer. 

Wee"WOW. A rocking unsteady motion. Wobbling 

Weet. To pull. (" I'll wcet thy loggers." M.A.C.) 


Weet. To pull the hair. W.f.p. 

Weet-Snob. It was a sight to see the cobbler's face as 
he pulled his hog's bristle and waxed thread, when 
we boys used to flatten our noses against his window. 
How he " glazed," when we called out " Weet snob ! 
If I hear anybody say weet snob ! I'll weet snob 
him !" Those boys ! (Weet was pronounced ivheet.J 

St. Colurab. 

Weeting. (A thrashing. M.A.C.) Pulling anyone 

Weeth. Afield. Weethans. Small fields. m.a.c. 

Well-a-fine. "That's all well-a-fine." "That's all 

very well." "Very well considering." Middling. 
Wettle. An infant's inside flannel. 

Whap. Whop, a blow. Whaf is Celtic Cornish for a 

Wheal. A mine, a work. See Huel. It is a Celtic 
Cornish word. Also spelt wliel, icheijl, and whyl. 

Whelk, or Whilk. See Quillaway. 

Whelve, or Whilve. " To turn a hollow vessel 

upside down." C. 
Whiffing. A fishing term. Traihng a fishing line 

with baited hook after a boat. 

Whim, or Whem. A large hollow drum with a 
perpendicular axis, and a powerful transverse beam, 
worked by one or two horses walking round and 
round in a circle. The rotation of the drum with the 


rope coiled round it causes the kibble to ascend or 
decend in a shaft. It used to be said that the 
inventor of the " whim " was asked what he was 
doing. He replied that lie had a "whim" in his head. 
This is an improbable tale as in Celtic Cornish 
uimbleii means, whirling, and such is the action of the 

Whinnard. The redwing. Also called Swellack. Q.V. 

Whinnard. ^^sed of one who is looking very cold. 
" Looking like a whinnard." 

Whipsidery. A machine for raising ore. M.A.C. 

Whip-and-gO. A near miss, a near chance, all but, 

" 'Twas whip-and-go to get there in time." 
Whip-and-while. Every now and then, occasionally. 
Whip-the-Cat. A tailor who works in private houses, 

and who is paid by the day. 
Whisky. An old name for a gig. 
WhisterCUfF. A box on the ear. 
Whip-tree. The whipple-tree of a carriage. 
Whirl. The hip joint. " I've got such a pain in my 

Whirl-bone. The round head of the hip-bone. The 

White-livered. Cowardly. "Lily-livered." "A 

lily-livered action taking knave." Shakspere. This 

term, white-livered, was formerly used of a man who 

had married three or four times. 


Whit-neck. A white-throated weasel. E.N. 

White-pot, or Whitpot. A dish made of milk, 
flour, and treacle, with a slice of bread on the surface, 
baked; also milk and flour with sugar or treacle, 
boiled. Fot is Celtic Cormsh ioT pudding. ("To keep 
well filled with thrifty fare, as white-pot, buttermilk, 
and curds." Hudihras.) 

Whitsul. Milk, sour milk, cheese, curds, butter, and 
such like as come from the cow. Carew. 

White tin. The metal tin, in contra-distinction to the 
ore, or black tin. 

White-witch. A quack, cheat, and dealer in charms, 
etc. One who trades on the superstitions of the 

Whiz. A fussy person, "a dreadful old whiz.' 

Whizzy. Giddy. " Head gwain roun'." 

Whizzing about. Fussing about, whirling. 

Whizzy-gig. A whirligig. 

WhurtS, or Hurts. Whortleberries or Hurtleberries. 

Widdles. Whims, silly couceits. 

Widdershins. From north to south, through east. 

Widdy-widdy-way. The following is said in start- 
ing children for a race. 

" Widdy, widdy, way. 
Is a very pretty play, 
Once, twice, three times, 
And all run away." Off". 


Wiff. -A- small tippet or cape. " Go and put on your 

Wildfire^ or Weeldfire. Erysipelas. 

Wild lead. See Mock lead. 

Willen. A beetle. This is spelt hwillaen in Celtic 
Cornish by Pnjce; Huilan by Borlase. 

Wilkin, or Wilkey. A frog. See Quilkey, and 

Wilver. The pot, or "1)aker" under which country 
bread is baked in burning wood ashes; called a 
" baking kettle " in Devonshire. 

Wimbly-wambly. Feeling sick and giddy. "I'm 
all wimbly-wambly." 

Windle. A spindle. 

Wind-mow. A rick made in the open field. 

Winds. A windlass. Pryce. 

Windspur broach. " A crooked stick thrust into 
each end of a thatch to secure the windspur rope." 

Windspur rope. A rope to keep the top of a hay- 
stack safe from the wind. 

Wingarly. Faint, sick. Borlase. 

Wingery. " Oozing, shiny, as tainted meat." M.A.c. 
Winky. Very quickly, "like winky," i.e., in a mo- 
ment, in the twinkling of an eye. 


Winnick. To over-reach, to deceive, to cheat. "I'll 
■\viiinick him." 

Wint, or Windt. A whirling, wheel-like machine for 
twisting straw rope. (Wink. C.) 

Winze. In mining, a small shaft sunk from one level 
to another for the purpose of ventilation. Ogilvie. 
A small shaft with a windlass. M.A.c. A communi- 
cation between two mine galleries by a partial shaft 
in the intervals between the two great shafts. 

Dr. Paris. 

Wisht, or Whisht. JNIelancholy, dismal, sad, " 'Tes 
whisht, i.e., 'tis sad. " I am feeling quite whisht," 
i.e., I am very low in spirits. '"Tes whisht weather," 
i.e., Very rough weather. " He's a whisht poor work- 
man," i.e.. He's a stupid workman. " 'Tes whisht 
poor traade," i.e., It is very nauseous. ( JFeesi in 

Wol, or Wull. Will. 

" I icol not tellen God's privitie." Chaucer. 

Wonders. See Gwenders. c. 

Wood tin. Tin ore having a structural resemblance 

to wood. 
Woodwall. The green wood-pecker. c. 
Wormals. Lumps in the skin of an animal from the 

presence of larvae therein. (JFornal. c.) 
Worms. "Poor old worms," i.e., poor old souls, (old 

people). Poor worms ! Poor dear worms ! i.e., poor 

little souls, (children.) 


Wownd. A wound. Used thus in rhyme by Spenser. 
" The myrrhc sweete bleeding to the bitter wound, 
The fruitfull olive, and the platane round." 

Faeni Queene. 
Wriggle, or Wiggle. See Riggle. 

Wrinkle. A dodge, a trick, a cunning suggestion. In 
Celtic Cornish wrynch, a trick. (Also used elsewhere). 
" I've put him up to a wrinkle or two." 

Wrinkles. Periwinkles. 

Wroth. A fish known as Conner, or sea Carp. Tonkin. 

Wroxler. See Ruxler. 

Wurraw ! See Hooraa ! 

Yaffer, or Yeffer. Heifer. 

Yafful. A handful. 

Yaller, or Yalla. Yellow. 

Yap. A short snapping bark of a dog. 

Yaw. Ewe. 

Yellow janders. The jaundice. 

Yes. A Cornishman has a way of answering " yes " 
which cannot be written, or spelt. It is thus done. The 
teeth a little apart, and the mouth rounded, a sudden 
and sibilant inspiration is made. The sound so pro- 
duced is meant for "yes," and is equivalent to a nod. 
In Buckinghamshire they did not understand it ! 

Yet. A gate. " Wull'ee opp'n the yet ? " It is a 
Celtic Cornish word. 

Yewl. A dung-fork. See Eval. CaUington. 

Yock, Yerk, or Yolk. The greasy impurity of a 
sheep's fleece. C. 

Yockj or Yuck. To hiccough. Trying to swallow- 
when the mouth is empty, is called " giving a yock." 

Yeox. Saxon. Yoxe. Chaucer. 

Zacky. See Cousin- Jacky. 

Zam. See Sam. 

Zam-zodden, or Zam-zoddered. See Sam- 

Zang. See Sang. 

Zape, or Zapy. A blockhead, a fool. 

Zawkemin, or Zawkin. Stupid, thickheaded. 

Zawker. A dull stupid fellow. 

Zawn. A hole in the cliff through which the sea 
passes. (A cave where the tide flows in. Br. 
Bannister.) Spelt Sawan by Polwhele and Prijce. 
Borlase says Zawn is Celtic Cornish for a creek. 

Zeer. Worn out, aged, withered, sere. {Sere, dry, 

ZeSS, orSeSS, A great fat woman. From the Latin 
sus, a sow, a pig, a hog. 

ZeW. " To work alongside a lode before breaking it 
down." Garland. From the Celtic Cornish seive or 
sewye, to follow, to pursue. 


Zighyr. " When a very small slow stream of water 
issues through a cranny under-ground, it is said to be 

Zighyr or Sigger." In Celtic Cornish sigijr means, 
sluggish, lazy. 
Zog. See Sog. 

Zoggy. See Soggy. 

Zoundy away, or Soundy away. To faint, to 

sink down, convulsed with laughter. " I towld'n a 

story 'bout a swemmin grendinstoan an a ded 

zoundy, zOUndy, Z-0-U-n-d-y away, wai lawfin." 

Zukky. To smart. " I'd make un zukky." Camborne. 

Zwealed. See Swealed. 


Alive. When a mineral lode is rich in tin, copper, &c., 
it is said to be alive, in centra-distinction to deads. Q.V. 

Angelmaine. The Monk fish, sqiiatina angelus. c. 

AstuU. " An arch or ceiling of boards over the men's 
heads in a mine, to save them from the falling stones, 
rocks, or scales of the lode or its walls." Fryce. It 
is aste! in Celtic Cornish, meaning, a board, a plank. 
See StuU. 

Back of the lode. That part of it which is upper- 
most or nearest to the surface of the earth. 

Bottoms in fork. When the deepest parts of a 
mine are freed by a pumping engine from the accumu- 
lated water, miners say, " The bottoms are in fork, 
or, "She (the mine) is in fork." Pumping up the 
water is "forking" it. The engine is ''in fork 
(see Pryce) when it has done its pumping. 

Bunny. A sudden enlargement or bunch of ore in a 
lode. Pryce. Perhaps this word is from hen, Celtic 
Cornish for, butt end. 

Burden, Over-burden, or Top-burden. The 

rubble or dead ground which overlies a stratura of 
tin-ore, &c. In china clay works it is the top ground, 
from the surface to the bed of clay which lies below. 

Cakka-man-ah, or Akka-mannaa. Human forces. 

Perhaps from the Celtic Cornish cac, ordure. (Wil- 
liams, Corn. Dicfy., gives for it in "Welsh, each. 
Armoric, each. Irish, cac. Gaelic, cac. Manx, cuch. 
Sanscrit, cakan. Greek, kakk^. Dutch, kak. Spanish 
and Portuguese, caca!') Latin, caco. V. 

Cappenin, or Capp'nin. Overbearing or domi- 
neering. " Don't come capp'nin over me." 

Casier. A. sieve. In Celtic Cornish, kazer. 

Gaunter lode- See Lodes. 

Commercin. Conversing, chattering. "Whatever is 
all the commercin about ? " 

•'Looks coinmercing with the skies." Milton. 

Comreesing. Fleeting, sliding away. Pohuhele. From 
the Celtic Cornish rees, to fleet, or slide away. 

Costean or Costeaning pits. "Shallow pits to 

trace or find tin." Fryce. In Celtic Cornish cothas, 
to find, ( Biirlase) stean, tin. 

Crawn. A dried sheep's skin. Davy, Zennor. In 
Celtic Cornish cruin, a skin. 


Cross-course. (Pro. cross-coose.) Cross bar, cross- 
gossan, cross-lode. "Is either a vein of a metallic 
nature, a cross-gossan, or else a soft earth, clay, or 
flookan like a vein, which unheads and intersects the 
true lode." Pryce. See LodeS. 

Dilluer, or Dillueing sieve. A horse-hair sieve 
used in washing the fine ore stuflp, as in streaming 
tin. Pryce. From the Celtic Cornish dilkugh ' or 
dyhjer, to let go, to let flj^, to send awa3^ 

Down-park. An enclosed down, or Common. See 


Dowst. Dust. (See DoUSe.) From dowsioll, Celtic 
Cornish, all to pieces. 

Drift. In mining "is the level that the men drive 
underground from one shaft to another, or north and 
south out of the lode, in which, only one man at a 
time can work, it being but a working big, and about 
five or six feet high." Pryce. 

Driggoe, or Drigger. The lowest of the tier of 
pumps of a water-engine. Pryce. The word is a form 
of trig or trigger, that which props up, or supports. 

Duggle. A tinner's feast. Also called a Troil. 


Elvan. "A very hard close grained stone." Pryce. 
Elven in Celtic Cornish means, a spaik of fire; as if 
the name were applied to stone hard enough to strike 


Fang. (See Fangings, or Vangings. Takings, 

earnings, winnings. Also New-fang.) Craik {Eng- 
lish Literature, and Language, p. 87) quotes the 
following Semi-Saxon line. 

" On fang bring hegilich with the in Godes riche.'' 
i.e. Take, bring him quickly with thee into God's 
kingdom. This written use of the word dates about, 
or before A.D. 1264, and no doubt it was in oral use 
much earlier. 

Fast. The solid, unmoved ground, or rock, in mining 
is called " the fast " or "fast ground." 

Floran. Very fine tin-stuff. (Flour tin.) Pryce. 

Fork, Forking, In fork. See Bottoms in fork. 

Gatchers. The after-leavings of tin ore. Pryce. 

See Loobs. 
Gibb'n Camborne. "Give him Camborne." A 
threat of punishment used by Cornish rowdies. See 


GoUop. To gollop 'up. To gobble up, to eat 
ravenously. " He golloped up the whole of it in no 

Gollop. A lump, as of food. Same as Dollop. Q-V. 

Gounce. See Strake. 

Grass Capp'n. Grass Captain is the one who super- 
intends tlie men, &c., working "at grass" i.e., on 
the surface of a mine. 

Gulph of ore. When a part of a lode proves very 
rich, miners say they have a " gulph of ore." 


Gunnies. " Means breadtli or width. A single gun- 
nies is three feet wide ; a gunnies and a half is four feet 
and a half; and a double gunnies is six feet wide. 
The former vaults or cavities that were dug in a 
mine, are termed 'the old gunnies;' and if they are 
full of water, they are sometimes called ' gunnies of 
water,' yet more commonly, ' a house of water." 


Hooler. A bundle of blunt borers. A mining term. 
" The Cornishman.^' 

House. See Gunnies, and Turn-house. 

House of water. See Gunnies. 

Hulk. An old mine excavation. • Pnjce. 

Jew. A name given to a black field-beetle. Because 
it exudes a bloody or pinkish froth, they call to it 
while holding it in the hand, "Jew, Jew, spit blood." 

Kerchy. (Pi'o. hr-tchee.J A curtsy. A mode of salu- 
tation by females. Once very common, now nearly 
obsolete except in some remote country places where 
the women and children actually display good man- 
ners ! In towns, the people don't often use such a 
form of salute in these school-board days. 

Kerchy. A pocket handkerchief. " Where's my 
kerchy ] " 

Kivully. Loose, hollow, shelfy ground. Pnjce. 

LearyS. A mining term for "old men's workings." 



Mabyers. Chicken, young fowls. Celtic Cornish 

mah a son, yer, hens. 

Mock lead. Blende or black-jack. Sulphuret of 
Zinc. Pryce. 

Mole. The fish, rock goby. GoUus niger. c. 

Molly-caudle. A she-man who fidgets, and interferes 
with what is " women's work." 

Nater. Provincial, and Celtic Cornish for, nature. 
" Erbyn nater guns un cry." Against nature with a cry. 

Near the day. Miner's term for, near the surface. 

Penny-liggy. Hard up for cash. 

Pilly ground. A fishing term for alternate stretches 
of sand, and rocks covered with sea-weed, under 
water. (Looe.) w.t.a.p. In Celtic Cornish pil 

means a hillock, as if to say, a hillocky bottom. 

Poop, or Poopy. To go to stool. (Said by children.) 

Quick sticks. " He made quick sticks of it." i.e., He 
soon did it, or soon settled the business in hand. 

Rampant spar lode. A quartz lode. Pr^jce. 

Rowler. A ruler, a governor. It is a Celtic Cornish 

Rusk or Risk. The rind or bark. It is rise in Celtic 

Rux. Grains of gold were so called by tinners. Pryce. 
See HoppS. 


St. Tibb's Eve. Neither before nor after Christmas, 
i.e., at no time. "I'll do et next St. Tibb's Eve." 
M.A.c. Like the " Greek calends." 

ScaW-COO. The night shade. M.A.C. Celtic Cornish. 

Scaw-dower. The water elder. M.A.c. It is Celtic 
Cornish from, scaiven, elder, (scaiv elders,) and dour 

Scullions. (Onions. T.w.s.) Elsewhere called seal- 
lions or leeks. " The leek was worshipped at Ascalon, 
(whence the modern name of scallions,) as it was in 
Egypt. Leeks and onions were also deposited in the 
sacred chests of the mysteries both of Isis and Ceres, 

the Ceudven of the Druids It may also induce 

one to think that the wearing of leehs on St. David's 
day, did not originate at the battle between the 
Welch and the Saxons in the sixth century, but that 
its origin lies in the remotest antiquity." 

Hogg's Fabulous Histy. of Ancient Cornivall. p. 448. 

Shortahs. "Masses of loose rubbish in slate quarries 
which have fallen in, and filled up cracks and rents." 

Tarving. Struggling, storming, agitating. "Tarving 
about in a rage." In Celtic Cornish, tervijns, a tem- 

Teary, or Tary ground. Loose, fissured, or bro- 
ken ground, or rock. In Celtic Cornish tyrry, to break, 
and terry, a breaking. 

Turn-house, or Turning-house. "When (in 

mining) a drift is driven across the country N. and S. 
to cut a lode, they make a right angle from their 
drift, and work on the lode itself, which, as it is in a 
contrary direction to their past drift they call Turning 
house, in order to work on the course of the lode." 


OF DRUGS, &c. 

(From actual Cornish manuscript of 40 years ago). 

Alavadick pills. 



Anne quintum. 







Carbinet olemonia. 

Cerbenated mansia. 



Dalby's communative. 

Davy's Lixture. 


Femician red. 

Gum go acum. 

Hantaybilush piles. 


Hole peper. 

Aromatic pills. 





Bruise oil. 





Carbonate of Ammonia. 

Carbonate of Magnesia. 



Dalby's Carminative. 

Daffy's Elixir. 

Venetian red. 
Gum Guaiacum. 
Antibilious pills. 

Whole pepper. 


Oil a bay. 
Oil breik. 
Oil deldock. 
Oil sowols. 
Oil of spiks. 
Oil of swalos. 
Palm of city. 
Pil rusus. 

Puder chilk. 
Puder ginger. 
Purl wight. 
Red arcepty. 
Sprit win. 
Sprit of Nighter. 
Sperts terpine. 
Sperm citta. 
Weait an quintum. 

Whit precipit. 
White sipety powder. 

Eau de Cologne. 





Oil of bay. 

Oil of brick. 


Oil of swallows. 

Oil of sjiike. 

Oil of swallows. 


Compound Colocynth pill. 

Pil. Eufi, or pill of aloes 

and myrrh. 
Powdered chalk. 
Powdered ginger. 
Pearl white. 
Eed precipitate. 

Spirits of wine. 
Spirit of Nitre. 
Spirits of Turpentine. 
White unguentum, or the 

white lead ointment. 
"White precipitate. 
White precipitate powder. 


H. Mr. Robt. Hunt, author of " The Romances of the 
West of England," &c. 

E.N. The late Mr. Edwin Netherton, of Truro. He 
compiled the glossary in " Cornish Tales, in prose 
and verse," by J. T. Tregellas. Also, the glossary 
at the end of " The Exhibition and other Cornish 
Tales," by Forfar, and others. 

U.J.T. William Sandys, F.S.A. The author of "Speci- 
mens of Cornish provincial dialect," by "Uncle 
Jan Treenoodle," (sic) the glossary by "An anti- 
quarian friend." The portrait of Dolly Pentreath 
in this book, is taken from Mr. Sandys' work. 

W.T.A.P. Dr. Pattison, junr., formerly of Duporth, near 
St. Austell. This gentleman has rendered valuable 
assistance to the writer in the compilation of this 
glossary, and in investigations about Dolly Pen- 

T.W.S. Mr. Thomas Walter Sandrey, contributor to the 
"Cornishman" in 1880, of lists of "Old Cornish 
words. " 

M.A.C. Miss Margaret A. Courtney, of Alverton House, 
Penzance. This lady was so kind as to thank the 
writer for words which are included in the Glossary 
for West Cornwall, published by the London Dia- 


lect Society. Great thanks are in return due to 
her for the help which her compilation has afforded. 

C. This letter refers to Mr. Thos. Quiller Couch, of Bod- 

min. It has been explained that the excellent 
glossary in the " History of Polperro," was in 
reality done by him and not by his father, as was 
generally supposed. The writer found much assis- 
tance from his glossary. See Appendix. 

H.R.C. Mr. H. R. Cornish. \ 

T.c. JNIr. Thomas Cornish. ) Both of these gentlemen 
have done good work for the glossary by Miss M. 
A. Courtney. 

W.N. ]\Ir. Wm. Noye. See the Appendix. 

F.C. The Eev. Flavell Cook. He has collected many 
provincial words, which are included in the glos- 
sary by !Miss Courtney. 

B.V. Mr. Bernard Victor, Mousehole. Many old Cornish 
words, and even phrases, are known to him, and 
were published in the " Cornishman." See Appen- 
dix for his letters about old Dolly Pentreath, whose 
coffin was made by his grandfather. 

w.r.P. Mr. Wm. Fred. Pentreath, of Mousehole. also 
contributed a long list of old Cornish words to the 
" Cornishman." 

ie. id est, that is. 

Q.V. Quid vide, which see. 

The writings of Carew, Lhuyd, Tonkin (as in Lord 

De Dunstanvilles Ed. of Carew), Pryce, Borlase, Polwhele, 

and others, have afforded the compiler a large number of 



The comparisons with the Celtic Cornish language, so 
far as the writer has ventured to give them, are prin- 
cipally according to the " Lexicon Cornu-Britannicuni " of 

Great thanks are due to ]\Ir. J. E. Netherton, of 
Truro, who, as an experienced publisher, has afforded 
much practical help in correcting and revising the list of 
writers on Cornish dialect. 

The lists of words contributed by the writer to the 
" Cornishman," (a newspaper published in Penzance), in 
1879, 1880, are, with numerous additions of his own 
since, added to the glossary. 

In order to distinguish more clearly between pro- 
vincial words, and those of the ancient language, the term 
Celtic Cornish instead of old Cornish is used. 



In Lake's Parochial History of Cornwall it is stated 
that the parish register of Paul, near Mousehole, contains 
the following entry. (The words in italics are put so by 
the writer of this.) "Dorothy Jeffery was buried Deer. 
27. (1777)." 

On the south face of her monument, erected, not on 
her grave but in the churchyard wall, in 1860, there is this 
inscription. " Here lieth interred Dorothy Pentreath, who 
died in 1778 * said to have been the last person who con- 
versed in the ancient Cornish, the peculiar language of 
this county from the earliest records till it expired in the 
eighteenth century, in this parish of St. Paul. This stone 
is erected by the Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte, in union 
with the Rev. John Garrett, vicar of St. Paul, June 1860. 
"Hononr thy father and thy mother, that thy days may 
be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 
Exnd., XX, 12. 

•If Dolly, as the Prince has stated died in 1778 and, as the parish 
register states, she was bnrkd in 1777, (see above) it is clear accord- 
ing to this that she was buried alive 1 ! which is absurd. 


" Gwra perthi dp taz ha de mam : mal de Dythiow 
bethewz hyr war an tyr neb an arleth de dew ryes dees. 
Exod. XX, 12." 

•' Old Dolly Pentreath " (see ParocJi. Hist, of Cornwall, 
Lake, vol. iv, j^. 26) " retained her maiden name until her 
death, which occurred in her 102nd year; her husband's 
name was Jeffery." 

In the BihUotheca Cornubiensis there is this notice of 
her — " Jeffery, Dorothy (generally known by her maiden 
name of Dolly Pentreath, dau. of Nicholas Pentreath), 
bapt. Paul, 17 May, 1714 ; d. Mousehole, Dec. 1777 ; bur. 
Paul, 27th Dec." — " All the accounts state that Dolly 
Pentreath was 102, but her real age at the time of death 
seems to have been only 63."* 

The reader has seen what Drew says about Dolly 
Pentreath, and the positive statements contained in the 
letter by Daines Barrington. Drew was a careful and 
experienced writer, and the Cornish History done by him, 
and printed and published at Helston in 1824, was com- 
piled by Hitchins, who lived at St. Ives, and died at 

• There seems to be an extraordinary mistake in this. The 
question naturally arises, Why should she have been known by her 
maiden name all her life? If the reader will refer to Polwhele's 
History of Coi-nicall, under the heading "The Language, Litera- 
ture, and Literary Characters of Cornwall " (page 19, in a note), 
he will find that Polwhele, writing about Dolly Pentreath, states 
positively and distinctly thus, "Her viaiden name was Jeffery." 
From this then it must have been that she married a man called 
Pentreath, and was naturally so called afterwards throughout the 
rest of her very long life. The age 63 is certainly an error, and 
impossible, according to the testimony of Daines Barrington as 
given in his letter. (See back pp. 6, 11.) At p. 20, in a note, 
Polwhele says, " Old Dolly had no family." (Ed. of 1806.) 


Marazion on April 1, 1814. Hitchins was, therefore, a near 
neighbour to Dolly Pentreath's place, viz., Mousehole. 
The collection of the materials for a Cornish History must 
have taken a long time, so that Kitchens, being so near 
Mousehole, and writing not so very many years after the 
time of Dolly's death, could hardly be other than well in- 
formed of the facts. It being hard to reconcile the above 
differences of dates, and the subject requiring further 
investigation, the writer went to Mousehole in the summer 
of 1881, and made inquiries. He convinced himself that, 
(notwithstanding the statement of so correct a writer as 
Drew, that Dolly died in " 1788," or the inscription on 
her present monument erected by Prince L. L. Bonaparte 
that she "died in 1778,") the actual day of her death 
was Deer. 26th, A.D. 1777. She was probably buried, in 
the very beginning of the year 1778, a few days after her 

This appears to be positively determined by the follow- 
ing valuable and interesting letters from Mr. Bernard 
Victor, of Wellington Place, Mousehole. He not only 
fixes the date of Dolly Pentreath's death, but also gives 
details of the true position of her grave, over which the 
monument, erected by Prince L. L. Bonaparte in 1860, 
should hare been placed, instead of where it is at present, 

The writer of this was informed by Mr. Trewavas, 
of Mousehole, who in 1881 was in his 88th year, and 
pleasantly bright, clear, and intelligent, that " he does not 
remember anything on her (Dolly Pentreath's) tombstone 
or what was on it, himself, but he has heard that the first 


or old inscription on the supposed tombstone was — "Here 
lieth Old Dolly Pentreath, who lived one hundred years 
and two, was born and buried in Paul parish too. Not in 
the Church amongst people great and high, but in the 
Churchyard doth old Dolly lie."- — (The tombstone here 
referred to, is the supposed one spoken of by Drew in his 
History of Cornwall, and not that erected by Prince L. L. 
BonajDarte in 1860.) 



By the request of Mr. Trewavas, your correspondent, I avail my- 
self of this favourable opportunity to furnish you with an incident, 
or two, relative to the above celebrated dame. 

Though there were several of Dolly's neighbours who had an 
acquaintance with the old Cornish, she became more generally 
known as a living repository of the almost defunct language from 
her occupation as a fish-seller, or back-jouster, her j^articular voca- 
tion calling her to nearly all parts of the surrounding country, 
where the good, but perhaps parsimonious housewives, declining 
her terms, and refusing the fish, often drew from the ancient dame, 
in choicest Celtic, the outpourings of her wrath ; for Dolly was a 
woman of spirit, and had a sharp tongue. It has even been said 
that Dolly used to swear in Cornish. 

The house in which the ancient dame lived, at the time she 
followed the occupation of a fish-seller, is still to be seen at Mouse- 
hole,* and at present is occupied by two fishermen as a net loft, &c. 

* See the frontis-piece— for house and portrait. The house is on the 
opposite side of the street, but a little lower down, than were stands the " Keig- 
wLn Arms," and sketched from near the porch of the old Inn. 


It is believed the fire-place remains to this day. 
Where she plied bellows, 
Boiled her salted fish, 
There she washed her trencher. 
There she cleaned her dish. 
She died Deer. 26, 1777, at the age of 102. At her funeral the 
undertaker was George Badcock. He being my grandfather, that is 
the reason I am so well informed ; and there were eight chosen 
fishermen bearers to take her to her last resting place. 

There was not anything erected on the old lady's grave as 
a tablet to her memory. I know quite well the grave where her 
remains are deposited. 

The churchyard in which her remains are deposited is empha- 
tically declared to be worthy of particular regard, and the monu- 
mental granite erected there by Prince Louis Lucieu Bonaparte 
keeps her memory green. 

Her old language, like the virtuous departed, being dead, yet 

" Ha'n Dew eiihella, vedn ry 
Peth yw gwella ol rag why."* 
" And God supreme will do for you, 
What He thinks best is good for you." 

I should feel obliged if you would have the goodness to write 
me, and let me know if this iuformatiim will be of any service to 

My address (is) Bernard Victor, Wellington Place, Mousehole, 

I remain, yours faithfully, 

Beknakd Victoi!, 

Mousehole, West Cornwall. 
Deer., 1881. 
To Dr. Jago, Plymouth. 

Thoxi strong man, who on earth dost dwell, 
To-day, with prudence, act thou weU ; 
And God supreme for thee will do, 
What ho thinks best is good for you."-** 

'* Literally—' Will give 


In May 1882, my friend Dr. W. T. A. Pattison, and 
also Mr. Bernard Victor of Mousehole, visited Dolly 
Pentreath's grave in order that the exact position of it 
might be recorded, and soon after the following letter was 

Wellington Place, Mousehole, 

May 16th, 1882. 
Dear Sir, 

I beg to inform you that I have visited the grave-yard of Doll 
Peutreath this day at noon, and I will give you the correct distance 
and corapass bearing of the grave to the monument that was erected 
by Prince L. L. Bonaparte ; also the distance from the grave to the 
Chancel door of the Church, and the compass bearing. I took a 
mariner's compass with me and a rule to measure with, so that it 
should be correct. 

1st.— The head of the grave from the monument erected by 
Prince L. L. Bonaparte is south-east, a point easterly ; distance, 
forty-seven feet. 

'2nd. — The bead of the grave from the chancel door is south, a 
point westerly ; distance, fifty-two feet. 

I have sent you the plan of the Church ; also of the giave and 
the present monument : so there can be no mistake. 

The grave is quite close to the front wall of the church-yard, 
as you will see 1 have placed it in the plan of the grave-yard. I 
have also placed the trees as they are situated, close to the wall of 
the front of the grave-yard. The front of the Church (the south 
side is meant — F. W. P. J.) is as correct as possible, with the two 
doors and six windows ; and the window at the west end. 

The south front of the Church, and the church-yard wall that I 
have sent you a sketch of, face the Church road from Mousehole to 
Paul Church town. 

I shall feel glad if my information is satisfactory to you. 
Please send me a few lines and let me know how you like my plan. 
I saw Dr. Pattison yesterday ; he gave me the note you sent to 
have plan. 

I remain yours faithfully, 

Beexap.d Yictok. 
To Dr. Jago, Plymouth. 


The description as given above is quit? clear for any 
one visiting Paul Church-yard, and the plan is not really- 
required, although Mr. Victor so kindly took the trouble 
to make it. 

On May 23, 1882, Mr. B. Victor was again written 
to. The following is an extract, the rest of the letter not 
being important : — 


" But how was it that Prince L. L. Bonaparte, in 1860, fixed 
Dolly's monument where it now stands? The inscription on it 
says ^ Here lieth interred Dolly Pentreath,' &c., when, by your 
account, Dolly's actual resting place is ' 47 feet south-east, a point 
easterly ' from Prince L. L. Bonaparte's monument to her. Who 
told the Prince that Dolly lies where the present monument is ? 
The public require proof ; and how was such a mistake made about 
the exact place of Dolly's grave ? " 

I am yours truly. 

Feed. W. P. Jago. 
Mr. Bernard Victor, Mousehole. 

The following interesting letter is the reply : — 
Wellington Place, Alousehole, 

May 22ud, 1882. 
Deae Sie, 

I will give you my opinion oi where Prince L. L. Bonaparte 
got the information from to erect the monument where it is at 

First, 1 will say as to myself I never saw Prince L. L. Bona- 
parte ; if so, the monument, no doubt, would have been erected 
in its right place. 

There was a William Bodener, a fisherman of this place, who 
wrote a letter in the Cornish language on the 3rd of July, 1776, so 
when Prince L. L. Bonaparte came to Mousehole, he came to the 
descendants of the before mentioned W^illiam Bodener ; but I i 
not prepared to inform you whether they gave him any information 
as to the present erection of the monnmeut, but the information 
that I have given you is from my grandfather, who was the under- 
taker at her funeral, which I gave you to understand before, and 
that she was carried to her grave by eight fishermen. 


But I believe yon have a doubt of my information being cor- 
rect. If you were in ilousebole at this present time, you could see 
an old fisherman by the name of Stephen Blewett, who could give 
you the same information about the grave which I have given you ; 
but, of course, he knew nothing of Dolly Pentreath. "What he and 
others know about Dolly is handed down from sire to son. 

I remember my grandfather quite well ; he died with us, and 
I was fifteen years of age when he died. 

Dear Sir, this I will inform you — that the descendant of Wil- 
liam Bodener, who is alive at Mousehole at present, can give no 
information whatever on the ancient Cornish language, or about 
Dolly Pentreath, or her grave, or anything connected with her 
funeral procession. 

I gave you the plan of the churchyard wall, and you see there 
are two gates in the long south churchyard wall, and the monument 
is placed in the position below the upper gate, but it should have 
been placed below the lower gate,* so there was the mistake by the 
person who gave the information (to the Prince). 

This I can further say, that there was no person who could 
satisfy any visitors who came there to make inquiry about the grave 
before they came to me. There was always a doubt by the folks 
that the monument (of 1860) was not in its right place. 

Now I have given you all the information in my power, and 
who is the person that can say that I am not correct ? Who knew 
better about Dolly Pentreath' s grave than my grandfather who 
made her coffin and superintended the funeral ? 

It is not to be said that the monument is in its right place 
because it was put there by the order of Prince L. L. Bonaparte, 
or by the Eev. John Garrett — the one a Frenchman and the other 

an Irishman ! 

I remain, yours faithfully, 

Bernard Victor. 
To Dr. Jago. 21, Lockyer Street, Plymouth. 


To the preceding letter was the following reply : — 

21, Lockyer Street, Plymouth, 

May 26, 1882. 
Deab Sir, 

Many thanks for the valuable information contained in your 
letter of the 22ud inst. respecting the actual position of Dolly Pen- 
treath's grave in Paul churchyard. 

I had no doubt of your statements, and only wrote you again 
to obtain the fullest imformation possible. Your letter explains 
very clearly that Prince L. L. Bonaparte, and the Eev. John Gar- 
rett the clergyman at Paul (the latter had only been instituted in 
Paul in 1857, that is, only three years before the present monument 
was erected), mistook the position, and instead of erecting the 
monument to Dolly below the tipper gate, it should have been 
placed below the lowei- gate as you have described. 

It is to be hoped that one day the present monument of 1860 
will be placed in the true position so carefully described by you, and 
that the date 1778, now on it, will be altered to December 26, 1777. 
Such information, coming from one so well acquainted with 
many words and even phrases of the ancient Cornish language, and 
this apart from books, renders it peculiarly interesting, and I am 
much indebted to you for your letters. 

From my personal knowledge of you I am satisfied that you 
have written truthfully, and conscientiously, 
I am, Dear Sir, 

Tours very truly, 

Feed. W, P. Jago, 
Mr. Bernard Victor, • 

Wellington Place, 


The following question required an answer, viz. : — 
How can it be explained that Mr. Bernard Victor's grand- 
father was old enough in 1777 to act as undertaker for 
Dolly Pentreath, 105 years ago? 

*Mr. B. Victor has a son now Oil&y 1882). residing at 12, Clowauce street, 
Devonport. His fatlier says that this son is also fully actjiiaiuted with the par- 
ticulars concerning Dolly Pentreath. f. w. p. j. 


The follo\ying is Mr. Bernard Victor's reply : — 
■Wellington Place, 


July 24, 1882. 
Dear Sie, 

" In reply to your letter of the 21st inst., I beg to inform you 
that it is no trouble whatever to me to furnish you with the follow- 
ing particulars of the age of my grandfather (George Badcock), at 
his death, also his age at the time he buried Dolly Pentreath, and 
likewise my age. 

My grandfather died in July 1832, at the age of 84 years, so 
that will make it 50 years since my grandfather's death, 

Now from the time of his birth up to the present will make 
134 years, and Dolly Pentreath who died iu 1777 will make 105 

This will give my grandfather's age at the time he buried Dolly 
Pentreath to have been 29 years. 

My grandfather was married at that time, and his luife had one 
child, a girl, who was born in 1777, the year that Dolly died. 

My age. — I was born in this village, Mousehole, in the year 
1817 on the 21st of August, so I shall be 65 on August 21st, which 
will be next mouth." 

I am, yours &c. 

Beknaed Victor, 
Dk. F. W. p. Jago, 

21, Lockyer Street, 



The foregoing letters contain full particulars, but to 
the casual visitor to Paul churchyard the following 
directions may be of use. 


In going hy the " Church road " from Monsehole to 
Paul, the south east angle of Paul churchyard is first 
reached on the right hand. 

Close inside the churchyard wall there, next the 
" Church road," and lengthways between two trees, lies 
the grave with nothing to mark its place (1882). 

Close to the west end of the grave is the gate opening 
into the path which leads dircetly from the " Church 
road" to the square headed chancel door in the south 
side of the Church. 

Thirteen or fourteen paces more to the west of this 
(chancel) gate stands the misplaced memorial to Dolly by 
the Prince L. L. Bonaparte. The long inscription (already 
given) faces the road, and on the north side of the stone is 
a shorter inscription facing the churchyard, in these words 
— " Dorothy Pentreath who conversed in ancient Cornish, 
died 1778. This stone is erected by Prince Louis Lucien 
Bonaparte and the Rev. John Garrett, 1860." 

There is good evidence notwithstanding the confusion 
of dates, that Dolly Pentreath was aged 102 when she 
died in 1777, (not 1778 as on the present monument). 

There seems no reason to doubt that an epitaph in 
ancient Cornish, and a translation of the same into English 
was written, and which is referred to by Drew, Polwhele, 
and others, but there is no evidence to prove that such 
an epitaph was ever inscribed on stone, and placed upon 
Dolly's grave at or about the time of her burial. 

If we are to believe writers who lived near the time 
of the events which they recorded, then Dolly Pentreath 
was the last who spoke Cornish as her native tongue, for 


in Drew's History of Cornwall, (vol. 1. p. 227), quoting 
Daiues Barrington, it is said, " she does indeed talk 
Cornish as readily as others do English, being bred up from 
a child to know no other language ; nor could she (if we may 
believe her) talk a word of JEnglish before she was past twenty 
years of age." 

Others who succeeded Dolly, although they could con- 
verse in Cornish more or less perfectly, yet they were 
born and brought uj) as children to speak English. 

Thus, after all, Dolly Pentreath was the last known 
person whose mother tongue was Cornish, and who knew no 
other language till she was a grown woman* 

* Dolly Pentreath's portrait on the frontis-piece, is a true copy of the one in 
"TJncle Jau Trenoodle," 1846, (by Wm. Sandys, F. S. A.,) and which is the same 
portrait as that in " Recreations iu Rhyme,'" by John TreuhaUe published in 
1854. See Biblioih. Cornnb. Polwhele says that " in the Universal Magazine, (if 
I am rightly informed) there is no bad likeness of old Dolly as engraved by B,. 


The following notes have been made so that the reader 
may refer to such of the books and articles as h ive been 
written by those whose names are recorded below. The 
list may not be complete, but it may be useful. 

It refers to those who have written on the Cornish 
language and dialect, and also to such as are authors of 
Cornish tales. The writer is indebted to the "Bibliotheca 
Cornubiensis " of Messrs. Boase and Courtney, but much 
fuller information can be had from their very valuable 
work. Several additions and alterations have been made 
by Mr. J. R. Netherton, of Truro, who has kindly revised 
the list. 
B; H. F. B. — Under these letters are "Words used in 

Cornwall," in N. & Q., 1 S. ; vi, 601 (1852). 
BANNISTER, Rev. John.— The author of the Glossary 
of Cornish names of persons and places. "He be- 
gan an English-Cornish Dictionary in an interleaved 
copy of Dr. Johnson's Dictionary — Also the Gerlever 
Cernouak, a vocabulary of the ancient Cornish lan- 
guage ; and a Cornish vocabulary with copious addi- 
tions to his printed work." There were also " Mate- 


rials for a glossary of Cornish names, and newspaper 
cuttings on Cornish names." 

The above valuable MSS. were bought for the Br. Museum. 
£15 was the sum paid for them ! ! 

BELLOWS, John. — "On the Cornish Language," in the 
Report of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society for 
1861, p. 28. 

BLIGHT, Robert. — Among many others of his writings 
is an article in the West Briton, 1867, on "Old cus- 
toms and provincial words in Cornwall." 

BOASE, George Clement. — A bibliographical list of the 
works published or in MS., illustrative of the various 
dialects of English — Edited by the Rev. Walter W. 
Skeat, M.A., Loud. English Dialect Society 1873, 8vo, 
pp. viii and 48. 

The Bibliotheca Cornubiensis has this note — " The above 
work was in reality brought out in February 1875. It 
contains on j)p. 19-28 a list of works relating to the 
English Dialect of Cornwall, originally made out by 
the Rev. W. W. Skeat, but re-written with additions 
and biographical notices by G. C. Boase and W. P. 

BONAPARTE, Prince Louis Lucien.— The Song of 
Solomon in the living Cornish Dialect, from the autho- 
rised English version, privately piinted by Geo. Bar- 
clay, 28, Castle Street, Leicester Square, London, 1859, 
16mo. The Prince had this "Song" translated into 
other dialects, Lancashire, &c. The translation into 
the Cornish dialect was very cleverly done by the late 
i^Ir. Edwin Nethertou, of Truro, at tiie request of 


Prince Lucien Bonaparte. Only 250 copies were 
printed. The Prince was much pleased with the trans- 
lation, and expressed himself so to Mr. E. Netherton. 

" On the expiration of the Cornish Language," a letter by 
the Hon. Daines Barrington, read at the Society of 
Antiquaries May 6, 1773. This letter was reprinted 
by the Prince in 1860. There were only twelve 
copies printed. 

"The Literature and Dialect of Cornwall," Camb. Jour., 
30 Nov., 1861. 

BOTTRELL, William.— Author of " Traditions and 
Hearthside stories of West Cornwall." This book 
contains a Glossary. He has written many things re- 
lating to Cornwall. 

COUCH, Thomas Quiller, M.R.C.S., F.S.A.— Among his 
writings are " Obsolete words still in use in East Corn- 
wall." Journ. Boy. List, of Cornwall, 1864, March, pp. 
6-26 ; also April 1870, pp. 173-79, is an Appendix to a 
list of Obsolescent words and Local Phrases in use 
among the folk of East Cornwall." Also an article 
on "The Cornish language," 1864, pp. 76-77. In the 
Biblioth. Cornubieusis there is a further notice, thus 
(p. 1139). 

"List of obsolete words still in use among the folk of 
East Cornwall." Truro, Netherton, printer, n.d. (1864), 
8vo., pp. 22. 

"Cornish words and Phi'ases," ib., 2 S. iii, 240, 1857, cf 
also iii, 473. 

"East Cornwall words," by Thomas Q. Couch. Pub. by 
the English Dialect Society, 1880. 


DANIEL, Henry John. — " The Cornish Thalia ; being 
original Cornish Poems illustrative of the Cornish 
Dialect"— "A Companion to the Cornish Thalia," &c., 
&c. He has written a great deal. See the Biblioth. 
DIALECT. — A western eclogue between Pengrouze and 
Bet Polglaze — signed "Cornwall" — Gent. Mag. xxxii., 
287— (1762). 

An old Cornish dialogue, Huthnance, letterpress and 
copperplate printer, Queen Square, Penzance, n.d. 
(circa. 1840) fol. s. sh.— 124 lines, 
Commfinces thus — 
" Twas kendle teening when jung Mai Treloare 
Trudg'd horn from bal a bucking copper ore." 

List of local expressions, signed S., Gent. Mag. Ixiii, 

1083-84 (1793)— (Biblioth. Cornub., vol. 3). 
EDWAEDS, Joseph, of Wrington.— In "Poems" by 

Cutis are included Rhymes by " Agrikler," i.e. Joseph 

Edwards, some of them in the Cornish dialect. — New 

ed. London, Houlston & Sons, n.d. (1870) 8vo. 
ENGLISH DIALECT SOCIETY.— Published in 1880 a 

Glossary of Words for West Cornwall by Miss M. A. 

Courtney, and one for East Cornwall by Thos. Q. 

ENGLISH, Henry.—" Glossary of Mining Terms used in 

South America, Cornwall, and Derbyshire," 1830, 8vo. 

— Mr. W. J. Henwood, F.R.S., compiled the glossary 

of Cornish mining terras. 


F. — The Cornish farmer and the squire (by F.), Nether- 
ton's Cornish Almanack 1869; reprinted in "Four 
Tales (Truro, Netherton), 1873," pp. 8-18. 
Capt. Tom Teague's humorous and satirical remarks 
on Zebedee Jacka's real adventures at the exhibition 
in July, 1862 (by F.), Netherton's Cornish Almanack 
1869. Keprinted in "Four Tales," pp. 23-42. (Bib- 
lioth. Cornub.) 

FORFAR, Wm. Bentinck.— Has written many good tales 
in the Cornish dialect; see Biblioth. Cornub., pp. 158 
and 1183. The dialect has been well done by this 

FOX, Charles.^" A Cornish Dialogue between Gracy 
Penrose and Mally Trevisky" (1790 ?). Printed in Pol- 
whele's " Cornwall," v, 25. 

GARLAND, Thomas. — " List of words in common use in 
West Cornwall," in the Journal of the Royal Institu- 
tion of Cornwall, April 1865, pp. 45-54. 

HIGHAM, T. R.— A Dialogue between Tom Thomas and 
Bill Bilkey, two Cornish miners — The Snake — by 
T. R. H(igham). Truro, J. R. Netherton; n.d. (1866). 
pp. 14. 

The Cornish Farmer and the Squire, a Poem by T, R. 
Higham. Netherton's Cornish Almanack, 1868, pp. 11. 
'Lisbeth Jane's Courtship, being another Dialogue 
between Tom Thomas and Bill Bilkey (by T, R. 
Higham). Netherton's Cornish Almanack (1869), pp. 

]<!Qt,e„ — The above two are reprinted in •' Four Coniish Tales" 
(Truro, J. B, Netherton, 1870, 8vo.) pp. 11 and 5 respectively. 


Edwin Lukey's Trip to Town, Anon. Printed in 
Cornish Tales (Truro, J. E. Netlierton, 1867, 8vo), 
pp. 66-70. 

Betty White— Jimmy's Story, Anon., ib. pp. 71-79. 
A Dialogue between Betty Penstraze and Sally Trem- 
bath, Anon., ib, pp. 132-47. (Biblioth. Cornub.) 

JENNINGS, James.— Compiled a Glossary of West of 
England words with a slight reference only to Corn- 
wall; 1825, 8vo. 

JIMMY TREBILCOCK, or the humorous adventures of 
a Cornish miner at the Great Exhibition. Camborne, 
printed by T. T. Whear, 1862; 12mo., pp. 16. Fifth 
thousand, 1863. 

KINAHAN, George Henry. — " Notes on the similarity 
of some of the Cornish rock-names and miners' terms 
to Irish words. Journal of Royal Institution of Corn- 
wall, April 1873, pp. 133-39. (Biblioth. Cornub.) 

LACH-SZYRMA, Rev. W. S.— Author of many valuable 
contributions to Cornish lore. Among them " A short 
history of Penzance, St. jNIichael's Mount, St. Ives, 
and the Land's End district." " The numerals in old 
Cornish," The Academy, 20 Mh. 1875, pp. 297-98. 
" The old Cornish language in questions and answers." 
" St. Just, the Plan-an-gware, and a Cornish drama ; " 
Journ. Brit. Archceol. Assoc, xxxv., 413-22 (1879). 
"Last relics of the Cornish tongue;" The Antiquary 1, 
15-18, 63-66 (1880). 

THE MONTHLY MAG., xxvi, 421, 544 (1808), xxix, 
451 (1810), contains a vocabulary of Cornish Provin- 
cial words. 


NETHERTOX, Edwin.— He Avas yerj well acquainted 
with the peculiarities of the Cornish Dialect. The 
glossary at the end of "Tregellas's Tales" was done by 
him. Also the glossary at the end of " The Exhibi- 
tion and other Tales." Both published by Netherton 
and Worth, Truro. 

1854. — Printed and sold by J. R. Netherton, Truro, 
and since continued annually. The folio \ving is a note 
in the Bibliotheca Cornubiensis : — 

" This series contains the following pieces — 

18(51 — Specimens of the ancient Cornish Language ; Extracts 
from Cornish Tales, published by J. E. Netherton. 

1863— Found drowned, and the Oysters, by W. B. Forfar. 

1865— Rozzy Irenoodle and his leatheren bag, by W. 13. Forfar. 

1869 — 'Lisbeth Jane's courtship, by T. E. Higham ; Luke 
Martin's cowld, by E. Netherton. 

1870— The crock and the billies, or fuddled Jabez Hornblower ; 
The flying angel, alias Beelzebub, from " Haunts and Homes." 

1872— The biUies and the magistrate ; Tom Mitchell and the 
Eedruth barber, from '• Haunts and Homes." 

1873 — Nicholas Kneebone, alias Slippery Nick ; Mousey Cock, 
from " Haunts and Homes." 

1874— The perfect cure, by Charles Bennett ; Wend, snaw. het, 
an' tha porpose plaaster. wether taabel, an' setra, by Herclus Polsu. 

1875 — Nick Dyer's pay day adventure ; A sorrow bringing 
sovereign, by C. Bennett. 

1876 — Snaw, het, and wend, (continued), by Herclus Polsu ; 
Amos Polsu' s letter. 

1877 — The billy-goat and the pepper mine ; A quack's recipe. 

1878 — The mistaken prescription, by A. Sumpman ; A knight's 
adventure (Biblioth. Cornub.) 

Note. — Most of the above, and those published since, have been 
reprinted with other Tales. 


NO YE, William.— Contributed to the Academy, 1875, 
p. 402, on "Old Cornish," and to the "Cornishman" in 
1879. Also on Cornish words in Symond's diary, 1878. 

O'DONOGHUE, Eev. Francis Talbot, B.A.— St. 
Knighton's Kieve. A Cornish Tale, with a Postscript 
and Glossary 1864, 8vo. ; Smith and Elder, pp. iv. 
and 304. 

PAEIS, John Ayrton, M.D., F.E.S.— In his book (" A 
gvide to Movnts Bay and Land's End," 1824, 2nd ed., 
by a Physician, Anon.) is a very good specimen of 
Western dialect. It is a " Cornish Dialogue between 
Grace Penvear and Mary Treviskey." 

PASCOE, Charlotte Chajmpion. — This lady is the 
writer of "Wan An' aell, a Cornish Drawel as Zung, 
Zold, and Spauken by Barzillai Baragweneth (pseud., 
i.e. C. C. Pascoe); pub. Penzance, F. T. Yibert, 1864, 
8vo., pp. 24. 

PENGELLY, William. — Among his xavj numerous 
writings is an article in X. & Q. " on Local Words " 
6 S. i, 345 (1880). 

SANDYS, William, F.S.A.— Author of "Specimens of 
Cornish provincial dialect, collected and arranged by 
Uncle Jan Trenoodle " {i.e. William Sandys). It con- 
tains a Glossary "by an antiquarian friend." Lond. 
J. E. Smith 1846, 8vo., pp. 108, 4s. 

SMITH, John Eussell.— Publisher, Soho Square, London. 
Printed a "List of works which have been published 
towards illustrating the provincial dialects of Eng- 
land," 1839, pp. 24. It contains a list of works on 
the Cornish dialect. 


STACKHOUSE, Rev. Jonathan Lett.— He contributed 
to the Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, 
May 1864, pp. 75, 76, an article on "Obsolete words 
still in use among the people of East Cornwall." 

TALES. — Cornish tales in prose and verse. By various 
authors, including W. B. Forfar, T. R. Higham, with a 
glossary. Truro, James R. Netherton, 1867, 8vo, pp. 

Five tales in prose and verse in the Cornish dialect. 
Truro, J. R. Netherton, n.d. (1882), 12mo., pp. 61. 
Cornish Comicalities, 9 tales in prose and verse, 12°. 
pp. 60, 1880. 

A Cornish Love Story and 8 other tales, 12''. pp. 62, 
2nd ed. 1882. 

The Billy Goat and the Pepper Mine, and 6 other 
tales, 12°. pp. 64, 1882. 

TREGELLAS, John Tabois.— He was born at St. Agnes 
on Novr. 1, 1792. Spent the greater part of his life 
in Cornwall, and died at Chester on April 17, 1867. 
Unequalled as a writer and lecturer on the Cornish 
Provincial Dialect. The whole of his works are now 
published in 2 vols., viz : — " Tales in prose and verse," 
and " Haunts and Homes of the Rural Population of 
Cornwall," (illustrated), published by Netherton and 
Worth, Truro. 

WHITE, John. — AVriter of "The humorous adventures 
of Tom Trevail," 1872, 8vo., pp. 20. 

WORTH, Richard Nicholls. — The well known author 
of the History of Plymouth, &c. In the Journal of 
the Royal Institution of Cornwall is " Some inquiry 


into the association of the Dialects of Devon and 
Cornwall, April 1870, pp. 180-83," written by him. 
The pages of the " Cornishman," a newspaper published in 
Penzance, frequently contain characteristic specimens 
of the provincial dialect of Cornwalh 



,, 152, 
, 158, 

Page 5, line 20, ) . . , , . , 

, _ „ ', for nauiaua, read navuuia. 

„ lo, ,, 9, ( 

,, 12, ,, 6, tor plea, read pleu. 

„ 19, ,, 2nd from bottom, for Pnulus, read Pamdm. 

,, 39, ,, 2nd from bottom, for iJwa, read £ye. 

,, 55, „ 16. Omit one "in." 

„ 73. ,. 2, for writing, read writings. 

,, 103, ,, 20, for scources, read sources. 

,, 108, ,, for Agyfy, read Argyfy. 

,, 128, ,. 1, for Flour spar, read Fluor spar. 

„ 141, ,, 21, iov fortuituo-usly, rea.d. fortuitously. 

I for BoUrall, read Bottrell. 

,. 166. „ for Fem-webb, read Fem-web- 

,,167, „ 13, for Fichet, read Fitchet. 

„ 192, ,, 23, for scrub, read scab. 

II 203, ,, Lace. Omit, " This is a Celtic Cornish word 


„ 205, ,, 21, for vegatable, read vegetable. 

„ 230, „ 16, for bill-hoook, read bill-hook. 

„ 240, ,, 19, for tos, to swear, read toy, to swear, tos, he swore. 

„ 252, ,, 13, for toothache, read toothache. 

„ 255, „ 12, for Scabby-gulyun, read Scably-gulyun. 

„ 259, „ 13, for Sruff, read Scruff. 

„ 296, ., 3, for task, read cash. 

„ 316, ,, 2, for crauny, read cranny.